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Workplace Woes: Are You The Cause?

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April 8, 2013

At some point, many of us have had to fight the urge to get up from our desks and walk out of our workplace forever.  The daily grind can get to even the best of us, especially if things at work aren’t going as well as we’d like.  The politics, favoritism, inflexibility and clash of personalities can become overwhelming but one truth remains the same – no matter where you go, there you will be.

In other words, you can’t run from yourself. Maybe it’s better to dig in your heels, reevaluate the situation and come up with a plan for coping since, let’s face it, most workplaces are going to have problems. Here are some suggestions for making work a better place to be.

You Cannot Change Others

This is a great starting point because it is the most important thing. You cannot force change upon others. The only person you can control is yourself, no matter how you try. In the end, if you want to see improvements, you should start with you. Your boss might be nitpicky, your coworkers could be gossipy and your employees may complain constantly. Work on how you react in those situations. When you give in to the people who are trying to make you miserable, you’ve lost control of the situation.  Let the gossipers talk – if you’re not around to hear it, who cares?

Focus on Your Own Work

This is a real challenge for many people. We look at other people’s work for a variety reasons. Maybe we need guidance. Perhaps, we are trying to outshine someone for a big promotion.  If you work on a team, you might be monitoring whether the workload is being equally distributed. Regardless of the reason, there is one thing that is painfully true – in order to focus on someone else’s work, you must be neglecting your own. Concentrate on getting your own tasks completed efficiently and accurately and let your supervisors worry about everyone else.

Bring the Happy

Who doesn’t love the person who brings cookies, flowers and other treats in on occasion? You shouldn’t be killing yourself staying up late baking but a little thoughtfulness can go a long way. Become known for being the person who always remembers birthdays and holidays and people will come to associate you with happier things.

Leave Your Problems at Home

To varying degrees, we’ve all got something to complain about. But if you come in every day upset about your home life, it’s just going to feed into the negativity that everyone else is also feeling. Of course, there are times when something genuinely heinous is happening and you need to unload but, for the most part, maintain professionalism and leave outside concerns at the door.

Serve Up Some Praise

We often feel threatened and unappreciated at work and, as a result, things can get a little cutthroat.  Instead of giving in to that old trap, try praising your coworkers whether it be for a job well-done, weight loss or a pair of boots that make them look nice.  As long as you are genuine in your approach, a little praise can go a long way.

We spend so many of our waking hours in our workplace and our coworkers become like a little family to us (dysfunctional or not).  It’s worth investing a little effort into making things run more smoothly. Next time you feel upset or frustrated, take a step back and think about these suggestions. It could make a big difference.

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