Problems with a Coworker? Don’t Go to Your Boss First

Posted in Career Advice

In a recent blog post career coach and workplace expert Alexandra Levit recommended that talking to a troublesome co-worker before going to your boss is proper workplace etiquette. Levit suggested that “In general, you should reserve complaining to someone’s boss for cases in which that someone is not giving you what you need, and has been repeatedly forewarned.”  And, even then, you should proceed with caution.  After all, running to the  boss to solve problems or deal with difficult office politics is not going to endear you to your colleagues and fellow employees.

Levit recommends that the “boss card” should only be played when it is absolutely necessary and you have no other choice i.e. the co-worker’s behavior is affecting your work product, making you look bad or damaging the possibility of your year end bonus! Understandably,it takes a lot of courage to talk to a troublesome employee and to explain to them why their behavior is inappropriate, irritating or unprofessional. Nevertheless, this is a requisite first step that cannot be avoided before you schedule a meeting with your boss to diss your colleague.

Nobody likes a “rat” but sometimes it is necessary to go over someone else’s “head” to protect yourself.  And, in many cases, it is likely that you are not the only person who has problems with a  particular co-worker (every office has one or two). That said, before going to the boss, it is wise to be very mindful of prevailing office politics and whether or not the troublesome co-worker is allied with persons who can have a direct impact on your future employment with your organization.

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!

Managing Troublesome Co-Workers During a Recession

Posted in Career Advice

Everybody who works for a living has to learn how to deal with annoying co-workers who, either directly or indirectly, may have an effect on your career trajectory.  However, we are living in uncertain financial times, when having a job–no matter the circumstances–is more important than personal happiness on a day-to-day basis.  Nevertheless, office politics are a reality regardless of how good or bad the economy is. To that end, managing difficult co-workers is essential if you want to learn how to adroitly deal with workplace politics sand advance your own career. 

I previously came across a well-crafted post that identifies 6 unique, annoying co-worker personality types and offers advice on how to effectively leverage these troublesome personalities to your benefit.  While we are living in financially challenging times, it  doesn’t mean that you are powerless or have no recourse when it comes to annoying and disruptive co-workers who make your daily work day unpleasant or uncomfortable.  I hope your find the following tips useful and use them to make your "time on the job" more pleasant and bearable!

1. The Naysayer. This office dweller delights in shooting down ideas. Even during "blue sky" brainstorming sessions, where all suggestions are to be contemplated with an open mind, the Naysayer immediately pooh-poohs any proposal that challenges the status quo.

The right approach: Because great solutions often rise from diverse opinions, withhold comment — and judgment — until the appropriate time. Moreover, be tactful and constructive when delivering criticism or alternative viewpoints.

2. The Spotlight Stealer. There is definitely an "I" in "team" according to this glory seeker, who tries to take full credit for collaborative efforts and impress higher-ups. This overly ambitious corporate climber never heard a good idea he wouldn’t pass off as his own.

The right approach: Win over the boss and colleagues by being a team player. When receiving kudos, for instance, publicly thank everyone who helped you. "I couldn’t have done it without …" is a savvy phrase to remember.

3. The Buzzwordsmith. Whether speaking or writing, the Buzzwordsmith sacrifices clarity in favor of showcasing an expansive vocabulary of clichéd business terms. This ineffective communicator loves to "utilize" — never just "use" — industry-specific jargon and obscure acronyms that muddle messages. Favorite buzzwords include "synergistic," "actionable," "monetize," and "paradigm shift."

The right approach: Be succinct. Focus on clarity and minimize misunderstandings by favoring direct, concrete statements. If you’re unsure whether the person you are communicating with will understand your message, rephrase it, using "plain English."

4. The Inconsiderate Emailer. Addicted to the "reply all" function, this "cc" supporter clogs colleagues’ already-overflowing inboxes with unnecessary messages. This person also marks less-than-critical emails as "high priority" and sends enormous attachments that crash unwitting recipients’ computers.

The right approach: Break the habit of using email as your default mode of communication, as many conversations are better suited for quick phone calls or in-person discussions. The benefit? The less email you send, the less you’re likely to receive.

5. The Interrupter. The Interrupter has little regard for others’ peace, quiet or concentration. When this person is not entering your work area to request immediate help, the Interrupter is in meetings loudly tapping on a laptop, fielding calls on a cell phone, or initiating off-topic side conversations.

The right approach: Don’t let competing demands and tight deadlines trump basic common courtesy. Simply put, mind your manners to build healthy relationships at work.

6. The Stick in the Mud. This person is all business all of the time. Disapproving of any attempt at levity, the constant killjoy doesn’t have fun at work and doesn’t think anyone else should either.

The right approach: Have a sense of humor and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself once in awhile. A good laugh can help you build rapport, boost morale, and deflate tension when working under stressful situations.

Do you recognize any of your co-workers who fit the bill? Or, perhaps more worrisome, do you fit into any of these categories. Food for thought……..

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting (remember those workplace politics)!!!!!!!!

 

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Dealing with 'Back-Stabbing' Co-Workers and Colleagues

Posted in Career Advice

Do you know somebody at work who is friendly, agreeable and even solicitous— who will smile to your face—and then say bad things “behind your back” to your boss and colleagues? I suspect that everybody has encountered one or more of these politically ambitious individuals at some point in their careers. In most cases, everybody in the office, laboratory etc knows who these people are but are ill-equipped to effectively minimize the damage that they may cause. I highly recommend reading this article that I found today to begin to learn how to manage these troublesome co-workers and colleagues.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!

Sheding New Light on Office Politics

Posted in Career Advice

The mere mention of office politics makes me want to cringe. This is probably because I have never been politically motivated nor have I ever taken advantage of a co-worker to advance my career. Those who know me will tell you that I am a tell-it-like-it is kind of guy. And, I simply refuse to play the game to get ahead. That is probably why I am blogger/science writer and not a vice president or CEO of some company. Nevertheless, for those of you who are ambitious and driven, you will need to learn to successfully manage workplace politics because–you don’t–you may wind up like me (not that there is anything wrong with that).

I came across a fascinating article entitled "The Win-Win Way to Play Office Politics" that I think sheds new light on the often vilified practice of office politics.  Read it–you may learn a thing or two!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!! 

Office Politics: Handling and Managing Annoying Co-Workers

Posted in Career Advice

Everybody who works for a living has to learn how to deal with annoying co-workers who, either directly or indirectly, may have an effect on your career trajectory. Managing difficult co-workers is essential if you want to learn how to adroitly deal with workplace politics. I came across a well-crafted post that identifies 6 unique, annoying co-worker personality types and offers advice on how to effectively leverage these troublesome personalities to your benefit.

1. The Naysayer. This office dweller delights in shooting down ideas. Even during "blue sky" brainstorming sessions, where all suggestions are to be contemplated with an open mind, the Naysayer immediately pooh-poohs any proposal that challenges the status quo.

The right approach: Because great solutions often rise from diverse opinions, withhold comment — and judgment — until the appropriate time. Moreover, be tactful and constructive when delivering criticism or alternative viewpoints.

2. The Spotlight Stealer. There is definitely an "I" in "team" according to this glory seeker, who tries to take full credit for collaborative efforts and impress higher-ups. This overly ambitious corporate climber never heard a good idea he wouldn’t pass off as his own.

The right approach: Win over the boss and colleagues by being a team player. When receiving kudos, for instance, publicly thank everyone who helped you. "I couldn’t have done it without …" is a savvy phrase to remember.

3. The Buzzwordsmith. Whether speaking or writing, the Buzzwordsmith sacrifices clarity in favor of showcasing an expansive vocabulary of clichéd business terms. This ineffective communicator loves to "utilize" — never just "use" — industry-specific jargon and obscure acronyms that muddle messages. Favorite buzzwords include "synergistic," "actionable," "monetize," and "paradigm shift."

The right approach: Be succinct. Focus on clarity and minimize misunderstandings by favoring direct, concrete statements. If you’re unsure whether the person you are communicating with will understand your message, rephrase it, using "plain English."

4. The Inconsiderate Emailer. Addicted to the "reply all" function, this "cc" supporter clogs colleagues’ already-overflowing inboxes with unnecessary messages. This person also marks less-than-critical emails as "high priority" and sends enormous attachments that crash unwitting recipients’ computers.

The right approach: Break the habit of using email as your default mode of communication, as many conversations are better suited for quick phone calls or in-person discussions. The benefit? The less email you send, the less you’re likely to receive.

5. The Interrupter. The Interrupter has little regard for others’ peace, quiet or concentration. When this person is not entering your work area to request immediate help, the Interrupter is in meetings loudly tapping on a laptop, fielding calls on a cell phone, or initiating off-topic side conversations.

The right approach: Don’t let competing demands and tight deadlines trump basic common courtesy. Simply put, mind your manners to build healthy relationships at work.

6. The Stick in the Mud. This person is all business all of the time. Disapproving of any attempt at levity, the constant killjoy doesn’t have fun at work and doesn’t think anyone else should either.

The right approach: Have a sense of humor and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself once in awhile. A good laugh can help you build rapport, boost morale, and deflate tension when working under stressful situations.

Do you recognize any of your co-workers who fit the bill? Or, perhaps more worrisome, do you fit into any of these categories. Food for thought……..

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting (remember those workplace politics)!!!!!!!!