Advertising
Advertising

When to Tell Your Boss About Coworkers’ Misbehaviors

When to Tell Your Boss About Coworkers’ Misbehaviors

There’s a reason so many business professionals read The Art of War. For anyone who’s ever worked in an office, you may be aware of the similarities between battle and life in a cubicle. This is why it’s so important to know what’s right and wrong at your workplace, and when to go to your general to tell him what’s going on under his nose.

1. When you report for the sake of the company.

Coworkers’ misbehaviors mean that your company as a whole is doing a bad job. The people misbehaving aren’t the only ones at fault—management too is responsible when productivity is low. If this is the case, you have genuine reason to be worried about the future of the business you work for. Do not go to your boss to get back at someone. That plan will backfire, either because he wants to know more and goes seeking information on his own, or because word will get back to the person you have a grudge against, and issues may become more acute. Only go to your boss if you’re concerned about the future of the business.

Advertising

2. When you’ve followed professional standards.

You can’t go to your boss about other people unless your own work is top-notch. You have to be following professional practices, i.e. not taking lunch breaks that are too long, or coming into the office twenty minutes late. These are factors that will undermine your credibility. It also helps to be proud of your performance, so that if your boss wonders about you, your word is as good as your work.

3. When you know the facts.

Only go to your boss when you’ve seen your coworkers taking a two hour lunch break, not when you’ve heard office gossip about it. Office politics can be complicated, so don’t form allegiances and try to rat on someone. Your own reputation will suffer if you don’t have good evidence. Only go to the top dog about an issue that you have seen with your own two eyes.

Advertising

4. When your own position is on the line.

If you have doubts about your coworkers’ intentions toward you, it may be a good time to approach your higher-ups. Office bullying is common, especially between management and subordinates. If you feel like you’re doing your best and not getting the respect you deserve, or if someone is making a direct attack on you without good reason, it may be time to take a stand. You may want to first stand up to your superior. If that doesn’t work, go straight to your boss.

5. When your subordinates don’t listen.

If you’re the manager and your rules are not being followed, especially after you’ve said something to your subordinates, don’t hesitate to go to your boss. Second and third chances aren’t for the workplace—if someone is continually messing up, it’s time to let them go. Maybe they shouldn’t have been hired in the first place.

Advertising

6. When it’s more than a scapegoat.

There’s a difference between a person who infects the rest of their team with lackluster performance and low morale, and a person who does their job just to get through the day. Neither are good, but the former is definitely worth approaching the boss about. The latter is a mistake in hiring, but an inevitability in most businesses. Just try not to have an entire team of people like that.

This cutthroat approach may seem out of place in many small businesses and startups, but a lack of Machiavellian strategies can lead to many failed first companies, especially when employees don’t work hard or grow accustomed to just getting by. When looking out for the future of your business instead of thinking about hurt feelings, your company can grow for its own sake.

Advertising

More by this author

If You Don’t Know How To Be Yourself, Read This. meditate anywhere 9 Ways To Meditate Anywhere And Anytime You Want 13 Things Every First-Time Traveler Should Know coworkers misbehavior When to Tell Your Boss About Coworkers’ Misbehaviors how to be happy Starting Today You Can Be the Happiest Person If You Pick Up These Habits

Trending in Work

1 7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics 2 10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them 3 10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers 4 How to Become Smarter: 21 Things You Can Do Every Day 5 7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

Advertising

2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

Advertising

Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

Advertising

5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

Advertising

Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next