The office is probably the one place that brings out the best and the worst, or both, in us. After all, we spend an average of 45 hours a week in office, spending nearly as much time with our colleagues as we do with our families. Yet, there is a difference in the way we conduct ourselves with our fellow-workers in office and our loved ones at home. While we can go only so far with our colleagues, we often run roughshod over our families and that is because they accept us as we are. On the other hand, our relations with our co-workers are often constrained and conditioned by more negative than positive factors which is not a healthy approach to work.
There is much that we can do to reverse our jaundiced view of people we work with and ensure a sound and peaceful environment for others and, more importantly, for ourselves.
Here are six ways to develop a more constructive attitude towards your colleagues and keep your peace while at work.
Don’t snatch away someone else’s moment
If a colleague is rewarded for good work, receives a word of praise or given a special assignment, don’t fret and fume. He or she probably deserves it. Accept it tactfully and gracefully. In fact, go forward and show your wholehearted appreciation by congratulating your ‘friendly’ rival like you really mean it. And while you do that, don’t steal his or her thunder. You'll have your moment of glory too.
Kill the green-eyed monster in you
The worst harm you can do to your prospects in the organisation is envying your colleague’s and telling everyone how you feel about it. Nothing exposes your sense of security, or lack of it, as envying your co-worker. Set an example: accept your colleague’s good fortune with a smile; by doing so, you’re laying the foundation for reciprocal behaviour when fortune smiles on you.
Lie low, aim high
Lying low, as criminals do, is a good practice in an office environment. It means maintaining a low profile and rising only when you're called. In other words, the more you keep to yourself, the more your colleagues will seek you out. The best way to make your presence felt is by not being present at all, if you know what that means.
Keep your mouth shut and your ears open
Some of the most successful people in the world are those who speak less and listen more. These are the people who command respect, who automatically become centres of attention, and who get work done quietly. The more you blabber, the less you're likely to be "heard" or taken seriously, especially at key meetings. As Mark Twain said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.” Speak only when you really have something to say; rest of the time, just listen.
Judge not, gossip not
Never sit on judgement about your colleagues. Passing unsolicited opinions around is tantamount to gossip. If someone in your circle is talking ‘ill’ about a colleague, keep quiet; better still, move away. Remember: if you give it to someone today, you're going to receive it tomorrow, and in your back too.
Own up your mistakes
One of the greatest virtues of a worker or an employee is admitting his or her fault. If you have made a mistake, own up to it, at once. Don’t hide from your mistakes or wait for someone to point them out. This requires more than guts on your part; it requires a strong determination to have a clear conscience at all costs. Coming clean is a self-healing process that reveals your strength of character. It can be your crowning glory.