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Gossip and Trash-Talking Colleagues: 7 Golden Rules to Follow If You Want a Drama-Free Office

Gossip and Trash-Talking Colleagues: 7 Golden Rules to Follow If You Want a Drama-Free Office

You’d think that all the gossiping and trash-talking stops once you hit a certain age, but like with the rest of the expectations that we have early in life, this one never really seems to match reality. People tend to gossip and cause drama for many different reasons – low self-esteem, affinities for popularity or nothing but pure boredom – but the fact is they do it. Just because drama is in the human nature, that doesn’t mean that you should allow it in your office; there are certain precautions that should be taken.

1. Remember High School is Over

"The Friendship Contraction" -- Sheldon's selfish demands force Leonard to reconsider their friendship.  Meanwhile, Wolowitz tries to pick his astronaut nickname, on THE BIG BANG THEORY, Thursday, Feb. 2 (8:00-8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.  Pictured (clockwise from left):  Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg, Jim Parsons. Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. �©2012 Warner Bros. Television. All Rights Reserved.

    People find it difficult to deal with this fact, especially if they were popular in high school. This is a system they know and love, and why shouldn’t they try to continue establishing it if they don’t encounter any resistance? This hierarchy isn’t at all difficult to spot – classical mean girls, the cool kids, neglected or bullied nerds, predominant athletes – everyone’s familiar with these clichés. Now, you need to play your role right by not indulging or accepting these groups. To achieve this you need to always make them work in different teams; this way they will be forced to get to know each other and work together.

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    2. Establish Anger Management Methods

    Causes of frustration and anxiety are things everyone should leave outside the office. In an ideal world, you’d have enough time to devote yourself to every one of your employees and help them deal with their issues. Bullying and mistreating people in your office can often be a simple outlet for built-up stress, which is why you need to have proper ways to deal with it. First of all, everyone needs to be familiar with basic etiquette – if one decides not to follow the common rules, you need to have previously established methods of dealing with them, and everyone must suffer the same consequences for these kinds of actions.

    3. Work on Your Team Building Activities

    04 The Office

      If you want a team, you need to build one. Members of a strong team need to eat together, work together and play together. Depending on the area of your expertise, all of you probably have more than one thing in common – you just need to find it. Once you establish which activities you can enjoy together, the only thing left is to pick a date. You should also know that hard-working employees need to feel appreciated, so a nurturing gift basket with a relaxing effect is something you should treat them with every now and then.

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      4. Don’t Run from Confrontations

      Built-up tension simply can’t be good for business. It’s completely normal for people to have conflicts when they interact, but it’s not healthy for those conflicts to be left unresolved. As a team leader or a simple observer you should encourage both conflicted parties to sit down and talk things out, which is the adult, mature and a responsible way to deal with this kind of situation.

      5. Invest into a Stress Free Room

      03 Med Man

        Every office needs to provide a safe, calm environment for all employees. Considering the fact that not all workplaces can be silent and crowd free – depending on the job description, naturally – the obvious solution is to introduce a stress-free space to your business. Ideally, this space should be a source of fresh air, lots of plants and calming colors, a sort of Zen garden if you will, but you should work with what you have. For starters, a corner with fresh flowers and a water machine will do!

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        6. If You Look for Drama, You Will Find It

        All jobs become a bit dull at some point, which is why people tend to look for practically anything to break that monotony. No matter if they do it subconsciously or not, you should draw their attention to this phenomenon, so that everyone can do their best to avoid it. However, a team leader needs to know when to intervene and when to stay out – treating them like children will only justify them behaving like children. Besides, a bit of healthy competition and a certain amount of appropriate humor should be welcomed.

        7. Encourage Focusing on the Positive

        01 Mitch & Cam

          Instead of wasting time on trash-talking and gossiping, you need to all transfer your focus onto growth and development. All that time and energy invested into finding out who said what to whom could be put to better use. You should do your best to preoccupy them with various courses, seminars, and other means of improvement. By working on their individual development, you’ll definitely speedup the progress you’re making as a team.

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          This might be a lot to take in at once but if you introduce each of these methods slowly, one by one, I’m sure you’ll be able to notice changes sooner than you think. If one of them seems inefficient, you should move on to the next one – these are the people you work with everyday, and they usually don’t appreciate being forced into anything. Take things slow, and you’ll be able to get rid of that unnecessary drama in your office.

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          Last Updated on July 18, 2019

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

          However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

          Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

          Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

          There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

          Better Job Offers

          Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

          People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

          Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

          You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

          Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

          A Shot at Entrepreneurship

          Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

          We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

          13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

          1. Update Your Resume

          You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

          Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

          While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

          There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

          2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

          Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

          That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

          To hone this skill:

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          Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

          Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

          This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

          How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

          3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

          Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

          Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

          To hone this skill:

          Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

          4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

          No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

          Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

          To hone this skill:

          Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

          Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

          These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

          The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

          5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

          Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

          How to hone this skill:

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          Practice being resourceful.

          Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

          Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

          No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

          If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

          6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

          6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

          Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

          The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

          Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

          How to hone this skill:

          Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

          Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

          17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

          7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

          Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

          What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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          Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

          5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

          8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

          Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

          Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

          Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

          What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

          9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

          How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

          Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

          Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

          The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

          10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

          Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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          Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

          What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

          11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

          Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

          You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

          How to hone this skill:

          All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

          How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

          12. Build Networks and Relationships

          You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

          Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

          How to hone this skill:

          Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

          To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

          How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

          Final Thoughts

          Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

          You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

          Happy career switching!

          More Resources About Career Advancement

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

          Reference

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