Archive for the ‘Dysfunctional Workplace’ Category

Never Be Offended

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

We’ve all known people who are a little thin-skinned. An off-color remark or a political opinion overheard in the break room can set their pulses racing. Even if they don’t touch off a war of words by replying, you can tell their ability to concentrate is shot, sometimes for the whole day.

Heck, I might even be describing YOU. (No offense.)

I wouldn’t begin to tell you something isn’t offensive. That’s for you to decide. But you also have control over how you react, including whether you yourself are offended.

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, Stephen Covey put it this way: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Here’s the thing: No one can offend you without your consent. Think about it. Whether or not something offends me is completely in my own hands. It’s a kind of agreement I enter into, a willingness to give myself over to the emotions and distractions that will wash over me as a result of someone else’s words or actions, killing my attitude, my engagement, and my productivity for who knows how long.

Are you really willing to put yourself in someone else’s control like that?

If you give in to offense, that’s just what you’re doing. People put themselves at the mercy of others if they let themselves be offended. It might be a careless remark, or the way someone dresses or acts that throws you into a tailspin of offense. It could even be something they said or thought about you.

So what? Forget about it! Learn to let things roll off you like water off a duck’s back. You’ll keep your focus better, you’ll stay on top of your game, and you won’t let others manipulate your emotions with their game-playing.

YOU will be in the driver’s seat.

Quick tip

If something really gets under your skin, trying writing down your response on a piece of paper—then throwing it in the garbage. That simple act of expression can often free you up to get on with your day.

Put a Lid on the Chit Chat!

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Have you ever been right in the middle of a thought, or adding figures, or making a plan, and a coworker stops at your desk and starts in with the small talk? AAAH! You can practically hear your train of thought as it goes flying off the bridge.

Some people protest that they’re just trying to be friendly. Isn’t that what culture transformation is all about?

NO, NO, NO. Friendly is fine, but that’s NOT what it’s “all about.”

You start with engagement, a workplace of people who love their jobs and can’t wait to dig in and rock it. That puts productivity through the roof, which drives profits through the roof. NOW you’ve got a dynamic, successful workplace.

Notice that it all starts with people being engaged in their work. Well you can’t be engaged in your work if someone is derailing your train every ten minutes by chattering about the latest episode of Toddlers and Tiaras!

It doesn’t matter what the topic of the day is. It’s simply disruptive, and it’s one of the enemies of a productive and engaged workplace. It wastes the chatter’s time, disrespects the time and focus of teammates, and lowers their chance for a raise, promotion or hitting goals. Everyone is hurt by it.

There’s plenty of time to connect. Talk before work. Talk after work. Talk at break time or lunch time. And if you find yourself standing by somebody’s desk, make sure you have a pen and notebook writing down who is doing what by when. That’s the way to create a culture that will rock everyone’s world!

Staying Grateful in Trying Times

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

I recently heard about a company that has always put workplace culture first, working hard to make employees feel valued and appreciated. Part of this came through in the food they served at celebrations, which was always top-tier, delicious, and plentiful.

As with so many other companies, the discretionary funds have recently dried up a bit for this company, leaving less cash on hand for these celebrations. The company still makes the celebrations themselves a high priority, but they reduced the lavish spreads of hors d’oeuvre to finger sandwiches and fresh fruit. And guess what? Many of the workers went ballistic.

Really, folks? (more…)

Gossip… A Leading Indicator of an Upcoming Pink Slip

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

If you’re looking to shoot your own job security in the foot during this insecure time, there’s no better way than to get down in the mud with the worst of your coworkers.

Kill the REAL Cancer of the Workplace: Put Workplace Dysfunction on Chemo

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

When you think of a dysfunctional organization, you might picture a lot of screaming and yelling. That’s not pleasant to be around—but it’s also not the most destructive thing a workplace can endure. Real dysfunction has very little that has to do with raised voices.