At some point in your career, you’ll undoubtedly cross paths with colleagues that irk you. Maybe it’s the presumption that their opinions are the only correct ones on the planet or their blatant brown-nosing to get on the boss’ good side. Perhaps you can’t stand how their arrogance, moodiness or quick temper puts a damper on the company culture.
Difficult co-workers can high-jack your emotions. They trigger something in you that causes you to almost act or think irrationally , which is not exactly a healthy situation in which you can succeed. You may find that sooner or later your exasperation expands until every little thing that person does makes you want to tear your hair out.
Unfortunately, in the case of annoying co-workers, you can’t simply remove them from your life. Avoiding them around the office or circumventing one-on-one meetings probably won’t work either.
Fortunately, there’s a way to put a positive spin on the situation that stems from a counter-intuitive insight about dealing with difficult people. When we discern a quality in someone else that irks us, we can benefit from pausing to examine exactly why we have that reaction and look more closely at what it can teach us about ourselves.
The friction of interacting with an annoying co-worker actually presents a chance to cultivate essential leadership skills like assertiveness, self-awareness and confidence. It can provide an unexpected opportunity for personal growth that goes far beyond solely testing the limits of your patience.READ MORE
When you’re a fast-rising millennial stepping into a managerial role for the first time, there’s certainly a lot to think about. You’ve probably wondered if your older colleagues will consider you experienced enough.
Or maybe you’ve thought about how the shift in responsibility will affect your work-life balance.
But many new managers have a worry that’s seldom addressed, even though it’s widespread: how to navigate managing peers and friends.
What should you do when people who have always been your equals are now reporting to you?
This transition can be awkward and anxiety-provoking to say the least, yet typical advice for new managers tends to gloss over how to manage the social and emotional changes.
Here are some practical tips to help you successfully ease the stress, lead with confidence and keep your relationships intact even as they evolve and change.
Realize having friends at work is still a good thing.
You’ve probably come across management advice warning you how employees need a leader, not a friend. As a new manager, your first impulse might be to put on your manager hat and cut off any friendly ties.
The truth is, cutting off these friendships is not only unnecessary but can actually have a negative impact on your work and your organization.
Research has shown the powerful benefits of having friends at work. People who have friends at work are not only more engaged, but their organizations are more profitable than those in which close friendships are less common.READ MORE
Think about the last time you felt fear and anxiety take control of your day. Maybe it stopped you from making an important contribution in a meeting because you felt like your opinion wasn’t worthwhile. Or maybe a simple email took you hours to write because your inner critic kept telling you it wasn’t good enough.
That YOU weren’t good enough.
What did you do? How did you respond?
For a lot of us, whenever we feel bad, we think that we are bad. As if having negative feelings somehow makes us weak or a failure.
I think we have the hyper-positive whitewashing in the media and self-help industry to “thank” (blame) for making us feel this way.
There’s no shortage of experts or gurus talking about how we need to eliminate so-called “negative” emotions.
But personally, I’m sick of the “fake it til you make it” approach to positive thinking. In the long term all it does is make us feel inadequate.
Day after day, I see my clients looking for a strategic way to build confidence. They want to go beyond the common advice to sugar-coat their struggles behind the mantra of “just be positive!”
Imagine if you could start hearing your inner critic as INstructive rather than DEstructive. What if you could put your inner critic to work for you instead of constantly going in circles battling the negative voices in your head?READ MORE
Politics is already a sensitive subject at the office. The touchiness has been amplified recently. Yet whether it’s in the office, during happy hour or even on social media, politics will likely come up.
Although it’s easier said than done, plenty of experts maintain you should never discuss politics at work under any circumstances. After all, it can be divisive. You’re talking about people’s world views, how they believe the country should be run and in many cases the best ways for people to live their lives.
Here’s what to do and what not to do when it comes to discussing political issues with colleagues.
DO ask for permission.
It’s an easy step to forget: always ask for permission before launching into a touchy topic. Everyone has different boundaries around discussing sensitive issues. Don’t make the mistake of getting caught up in rigid thinking and assume your co-workers have the same broaching the topic of politics as you do.
To set the groundwork for a healthy, productive dialogue, you might say, “I’m not trying to change your mind. I see this issue very differently and I’d like to understand. Would it be okay to spend a few minutes talking through our perspectives?”
DO know your facts (and admit when you don’t).READ MORE
Well, that’s a wrap. My first TEDx talk is in the books!
Getting up on stage to share a message about why you should listen to your inner critic and quit making it your enemy was a tremendous honor.
Speaking at TEDx was an exhilarating, challenging experience that I’ll write more about in the future. I’ll also share the full recording of my talk once its available, so stay tuned. And make sure we’re connected on Instagram and Facebook where I post more updates.
For now, though, I wanted to give you a glimpse into what was secretly going on while I was on stage. Something you likely won’t see on camera when the video comes out.
And that is…I blanked out on stage.
…But, not in the traditional sense.
Sure, I was nervous. The excitement amplified as they strapped my mic on and I stared at infamous red carpet from offstage.
Then as I walked out in front of a 300-person theater filled with people, a strange thing happened.
My fears and self-consciousness melted away. I felt fully immersed, connected, and present as if I was floating on air. My body was tingling. The words seemed to come out effortlessly.
Instead of being overcome by public speaking anxiety, I harnessed the energy and used the depth of my feeling to create a genuine connection with the audience.
What was happening? While it certainly felt supernatural, there’s science to back-up this magical feeling.READ MORE
Picture this: You’re in an important meeting with senior leadership. The CEO is sharing the firm’s strategic plan, including how the company will “leverage big data to gain visibility into market opportunities producing measurable ROI”.
You do a quick scan around the conference room. Heads nod in agreement as the CEO concludes. Self-doubt kicks in. “Am I the only one who has no idea what she just said?” Even though you’re totally confused, you don’t ask questions for fear of losing face.
Later while grabbing coffee, a colleague divulges that they were lost amidst the jargon. Yet they didn’t speak up. Though you shared the same opinion, you both stayed quiet.
Is this simply irony–or is something more at play?
This phenomenon is called pluralistic ignorance. It describes a situation in which a majority of people in a group privately disagree with an idea, while incorrectly assuming others in the group accept it. Instead of standing up for our beliefs, we go along with what the group seems to favor.
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely brilliantly demonstrates pluralistic ignorance in action with a clever stunt on his unassuming undergrads. It’s a short video but fair warning, it may seem eerily familiar to meetings you’ve found yourself in.READ MORE