Have you ever
asked yourself that question? According to a research study conducted
earlier this year on what bugs workers the most, maybe you should.
The survey, conducted
by Opinium Research, asked people what annoyed them the most at work.
Here are the top ten things that drive workers up the wall:
Grumpy or moody
The use of
office jargon or management-speak
loudly on the phone
Too much health
and safety in the work place
turning up for meetings on time or not at all
tidying up after themselves in the kitchen
cold air conditioning
Now, you probably
have little control over the speed of your computers, your office's
OSHA requirements or the setting of your thermostat, but you do have
control - at least in terms of your own behavior - over seven of the
top ten grievances.
How often are
you guilty of these minor annoyances? Do you come to work with an
attitude? Do you talk about others behind their backs? To you use
phrases like "think outside the box" or "get our ducks
in a row"? Are you tardy at meetings? Do you neglect to refill
the coffee pot when you take the last cup?
By changing these
small and seemingly insignificant behaviors, you can go a long way
to make your work place more civil and enjoyable, as well as earning
the respect and trust of your colleagues (and boss).
Speaking of small
talk or gossip
What if the talk
is about you? What if others are spreading malicious rumors or information
about you, your personal life, or your job performance?
won't happen to you.
But if it does,
I encourage you to read the article below.
Everyone is susceptible
to gossip stories at work. But what if the stories are about you?
And, even more disturbing, what if they are erroneous and could harm
Fortunately, this won't happen to you. But, if it does, it's important
to take action.
stories get created they often get cemented in as a permanent perspective
of who you are. This perception becomes their reality and everything
else you do reinforces how others see you.
You can have 50
examples of trustworthiness and one false representation and this
one malicious example undermines everything else.
During your constant
interactions at work it's possible that things you do might get misinterpreted
in a way that is not accurate.
For example, you
might be seen as unreliable because you didn't get something done
on-time or be viewed as a loose cannon because you speak up and say
things at client meetings that are not appropriate. Some of these
stories might be true, but often they aren't reflective of who you
really are at work. The problem is one or two negative stories can
cement a perception of you that is actually inaccurate.
Here is a seven-step
process to change misperceptions into positive (or neutral) ones:
Step 1: Gather information about the unfavorable story.
Without getting emotional or defensive gather as much information
as you can about the unfavorable story. This fact-gathering stage
is key. You don't want to fly off the handle, confront someone and
make matters even worse.
Step 2: Dispel the unfavorable story.
Go to the source of the story - the person who believes or is communicating
the misperception - and explain your situation. Discuss your perspective
and what you felt actually happened. Provide enough information so
the person understands exactly the truth from your perspective. You
could say, "Hi, Carla. I hear you may have some concerns about
what I said at the client meeting. Could you tell me about them?"
And then, after hearing the other person out, provide your perspective
of why you spoke out like you did.
Step 3: Ask about other misperceived stories.
Ask the person if they have any other stories that they would like
to share. When you hear the new stories, explain what actually happened
versus what was perceived. Provide greater understanding of how these
stories could have been misinterpreted.
Step 4: Take responsibility for what you did.
Even though you may not agree with the misperception, you most likely
can find some things that you can be accountable for. Show that you
have learned a lesson and what you take from this situation. Come
up with some examples of what you'll do differently based on what
you have learned.
Step 5: Share favorable stories.
When a person observes something unfavorable, this image gets stuck
in their mind. Counter the negative perception by coming up with ways
and examples of how you haven't been that which they think you are.
If they think you are untrustworthy, come up with three or four stories
illustrating your trustworthiness. These other stories help balance
out a one-sided and limited perspective.
Step 6: Ask the person to give you another chance.
Explain how you don't want to be stuck in their view of something
that happened in the past. You sincerely desire to be given another
chance to prove yourself. It's not fair for you to be punished by
something that happened only once or it occurred years ago. Get the
person to take a risk on you and let you try again. The risk is minimal
with tremendous potential upside.
Step 7: Thank the person for their honesty and willingness to help
This is one of the best ways to enhance your reputation and clear
up any misunderstandings.
is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you're busy
"One of the
annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility
is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And
when you do find somebody, it's remarkable how often his picture turns
up on your driver's license."
thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give
up than bad ones."
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