The workplace can be a real minefield of challenging interpersonal dynamics, so I’ve updated this article for 2017. Here are six helpful tips for being more successful at work.
1: Take responsibility for yourself. No-one respects a colleague or employee who blames others for their problems or mistakes. No-one trusts such a person either. If you want to be put in positions of greater responsibility, you need to show your bosses that you can take responsibility for your actions.
2: Get along with the people in your workplace. This is as important as, and sometimes even more important than your productivity. Your superiors don’t want to have to deal with the problems that arise from your interpersonal difficulties. They’ll respect you more if you have cordial working relationships, and will be aggravated with you if you don’t.
3: Practice defensive working. Just like with defensive driving, where you literally steer clear of the dangerous drivers, you need to identify the problematic person or people in your workplace and engage with them as minimally as possible. You don’t want to be seen as the person who’s always in conflict with one or more colleagues. It will reflect badly upon you.
4: Make your boss look good. If your boss sees that you’re an asset to their career they’ll want to keep you around, which could translate into better working conditions and perhaps even a better salary for you.
5: Don’t draw attention to your mistakes. If your boss comes to you with a problem, do admit your part in it, but you don’t have to fall on your sword. On the other hand, you don’t have to go out of your way to draw their attention to where you’ve messed up. It’s hard enough to get ahead. Own your part but don’t overly-incriminate yourself.
6: Your workplace is not your home, and the people you work with aren’t your friends or family. You can’t count on your boss or colleagues to build your self-esteem, so don’t try so hard to “prove” yourself to them. In the workplace, you have to be strategic in your relationships because your professional reputation and financial security are at stake.
Emotional intelligence is essential for workplace success, so take responsibility for yourself but don’t fall on your own sword; try to get along with people but don’t confuse your colleagues with your loved ones, and be strategic in subtly letting your boss know that you’re responsible for their looking good and by avoiding troublesome co-workers who could undermine your success.
Hopefully, these reminders can help you boost your performance in your current workplace or help you do better in a future position.
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