Top 5 Things To Avoid at the Workplace
Every workplace defines a set of guidelines for its employees in order to maintain order, discipline and a suitable work environment. The rules differ from place to place, depending on the field of work, company work culture and geographical region. Regardless of all the above factors, there are a few unsaid rules and behavioural principles that we need to follow, practices that become key to our effectiveness and efficiency at work.
1. Avoid Being Too Candid
Straightforwardness is a wonderful quality and requires courage, but it should be used with great caution when dealing with complicated situations.
The workplace has different kind of people with varied levels of sensitivity. While you might be trying to help people see the truth with your open and honest opinion, not everyone may appreciate your bluntness and you might end up getting labelled as rude and tactless.
Diplomacy is a crucial art that one must master in order to have the right effect on the right set of people. If diplomatic words don't come to you easily, it is best to avoid saying anything at all. Remember that words once spoken cannot be taken back.
2. Mingle But Don't Overshare
For all my wonderful extrovert friends out there, the one thing you have in common is your love to mingle with people and be liked by everyone. In an effort to form a close bond with colleagues, you may tend to share personal information about yourself and others, as an initiative of trust and confidence in the other person.
If you are lucky and the listener is genuinely nice, he or she may respond warmly to your chattiness and child-like trust. However, make no mistake, there is an abundance of critics and mischief-mongers at any workplace.
The critics will simply dismiss you for sharing what they would consider as irrelevant, even inappropriate information.
The mischief-makers will do everything in their power to exploit their newly-found knowledge against you.
So, do yourself a favour and think before you share any private information with someone. That way, you would never need to worry about getting heard by the wrong ears.
3. Be Careful Whom You Advise or Help
If you are well-experienced and efficient in your job, it won't be uncommon for people to approach you for advice and suggestions.
Sometimes, it may even be a part of your job profile to give your expert opinion to those who come to you for help. However, don't forget to consider what type of person you are about to advise. It is good to help out people in need, but make sure that you are helping the people who truly deserve it.
For example, if you are always helping someone who never acknowledge your aid or expertise, you are only wasting your precious time and valuable knowledge on an ungrateful person who has no qualms about claiming credit for someone else's idea.
Likewise, if you are helping out a perpetual sloth who comes running to you simply because he is too lazy to research things on his own, you are only pushing him further into an eternal lethargy and making him more dependent on you.
The worst type of people to help are the ones who try to apply your advise and then blames you when the smallest of things go wrong. Therefore, it is always wise to conclude your advise with a polite but firm disclaimer that your words are not the bible and you will not be held responsible for anything that does not work out as expected.
Also make sure to never give unsolicited advice unless someone has explicitly approached you about a problem, many people resent it as they consider it as an insult to their capability.
4. Stay Away From Gossip
It is sometimes too tempting to ignore the grapevine and pretend that we don't care about the spicy gossip that people freely give away about others. But once you become a participant to gossip, you can get pulled deeper into it and become involved in ways you may not even imagine.
Gossip mongers have an evil tendency to quote their unsuspecting participants at the most inappropriate of times, making you look as guilty as they are. Not just that, you may even end up making enemies without your knowledge, if your response to a gossip reaches the wrong ear. Not to forget the fact that you might one day become a target for gossip too, and very few people would see you as a victim if you happen to be in the same league as other rumour mongers.
5. Office Romance - Can You Handle It?
Many of my readers may disagree with me on this point. While office romance is not an uncommon occurrence and sometimes helps a lucky few to meet their life partners, let us consider those unlucky few who get into a messy romance.
There is nothing more joyous than an office romance culminating into a successful and happy long-term relationship. However, imagine if you have just broken up with your partner, or worse, got dumped by him or her.
Once a source of great joy, your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend now becomes a tool of daily emotional torture. Not only do you have to see your "ex", you are also forced to work with him or her, putting all your angst aside.
Of course, if your "ex" starts dating someone else from the workplace, that would be a fresh pinch of salt to your wounds.
If your "ex" hates you for ending the relationship, he or she may even spread false and malicious accusations about you simply out of spite.
Given that there are more chances of misery than happiness, it is best to avoid romantic relationships at the workplace, unless the two of you are really in love with each other and see very little chance of not being able to sort things out.
To be successful in the workplace, we must know how to stay out of trouble. Only then shall we get enough time and opportunity to prove our professional skills without having to waste energy battling unnecessary disturbances.
© 2015 Ritu Temptor
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