You may be asking your self why some of your colleagues seem to get more opportunities and are held in “high regard,” while you struggle to get the recognition you have earned. Think about a co-worker who is well liked. Their opinions are respected and if something goes badly for them, others are always there for support. If you don’t have this type of interaction with your peers and colleagues it may be because you have taught your organization to mistreat you. That’s right, you teach people how to treat you so if you don’t like how you are being treated, show your co-workers a new way of interacting with you. Here’s how:
Establish clear boundaries. This is really important especially if you are in a high stress job. Guard yourself by establishing, maintaining and clearly communicating your boundaries. The best time to do this is when you start a new role. You can explain to your new team how best to work with you (establish your boundaries) and inquire about how best to work with them (learn their boundaries). This simple conversation can easily eliminate many of the workplace conflicts that arise.
Evaluate your interactions. Start by examining how you treat others. Are you respectful? What do your language and tone communicate about how you truly view the person you are interacting with? Are you creating relationships of trust, honest communication, and support? If you answer no to any of these questions, begin to think about how you might change your behavior.
Push back with tact and charm. Kindness goes a long way, especially in those intense times at work. Provide clear pushback in a professional and kind way. Minimize or eliminate your emotionally reactive responses – they can make you look unprofessional. The calmer you are under pressure, the easier it will be for colleagues to hear your point.
Most importantly, remember to treat yourself well as those around you will follow your lead.
-Cornelia Shipley, Career Coach