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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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          Published on March 25, 2019

          How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

          How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

          Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

          But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

          Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

          “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

          It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

          Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

          As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

          As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

          Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

          Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

          1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

          When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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          Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

          2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

          Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

          But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

          If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

          3. Go to All Office Networking Events

          Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

          If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

          Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

          Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

          The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

          Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

          4. Show Initiative

          Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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          Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

          Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

          5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

          Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

          Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

          6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

          A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

          Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

          Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

          A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

          Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

          Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

          These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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          Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

          7. Find a Mentor

          With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

          Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

          Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

          8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

          After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

          What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

          Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

          Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

          You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

          9. Set Your Professional Bar High

          Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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          Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

          Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

          Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

          The Bottom Line

          Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

          “Half of life is showing up.”

          The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

          Remember, your career is your business!

          More Resources About Ever-Growing

          Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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