All Articles Tagged "office politics"
A new study published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes finds that paranoid people who think people are talking about them seek out evidence of this gossip. And guess what? You’re going to find it because when your co-workers see you acting crazy, they will talk about your craziness. Self-fulfilling!
“That is, people who try to ferret out workplace enemies are likely to create some that didn’t exist before, at least in part because their own eavesdropping, snooping and gossiping sets colleagues to talking about them,” summarizes TIME.
The best course of action, the study finds, is to chill out. Perhaps you think other people are talking about you because you love to talk about other people? And all that paranoid behavior could drive your co-workers away from you on a professional level, making it hard to work in groups and, therefore, hard to do your job. When your anxieties interfere with your work, you’ve got a serious problem. Just keep in mind, the sinister goings-on in your head likely have nothing to do with reality. People are too busy for all that.
If you happen to work with someone who’s under the impression that they’re the constant topic of conversation around the water cooler, they’re probably suffering from “spotlight effect,” the narcissistic feeling that the world is paying attention to what they’re doing. In that case, just go about your business and sooner or later, the paranoid party will (hopefully) figure out that no one cares one bit about what they’re up to.
When it comes to getting employment in today’s economy, it’s all about professional skills and education, but don’t knock ethics and a good old-fashioned hustler’s mentality either. Ethics and social intelligence play just as big of a part in keeping people within great positions, helping them successfully navigate their professional path, networking and actually growing within an organization.
If climbing the career ladder were as easy as doing your work and doing it well, many of us would have executive somewhere in our job title. Unfortunately, in a work force where job competition grows more and more cutthroat, you may find yourself calling into question your personal and professional ethics. Working smarter and not harder is just as much about networking and social interaction as it is about Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations. There comes a time in everyone’s career where they have to decide what type of professional they want to be, and ask themselves the following questions about how their character affects their chances at climbing the ladder:
I remember when I interned in college and I saw many of my classmates doing what at the time I thought was “the most.” They would pick up breakfast for their site supervisors and then engage in shallow conversations about how interested they were in the boss’s weekend hobby of gardening (when I knew damn well the only grass they cared about made you light-headed and happy). Still, I could only be but so surprised when they were offered positions within the company when the internship ended.
It’s all about where you stand. I don’t engage in empty conversations that I don’t care about. It’s just not me. I’m all about friendly and polite small talk, but if we don’t click on any level other than that, that’s okay. There are supervisors that enjoy bending over and getting their behinds kissed and others that see right through it. I’d rather know that I’m being judged on my work ethic and professional skills than how great of a brown-noser I am.
2. How valuable is your time?
I won’t even lie. I’ve been that person working on assignment and activities off the clock, but it’s only because I have a significant passion for what I do. With that said, any good organization will recognize when an employee is truly invested and even if you’re not compensated monetarily, you’ll be the first one whom they think of when that promotion comes along. When it comes to working off the clock, my advice is do it because you want to and not because you’re expecting anything in return. It’s also important to note that having your own life doesn’t make you any less dedicated. Some employers will take advantage of you because they can. When you volunteer to take the minutes at every meeting, team-lead three projects and MC the annual fundraiser event, you don’t look like a hard worker, you look like you don’t know how to manage time and delegate responsibility. You don’t have to apologize for having a life outside of work.
3. What are you willing to do to get ahead?
There are all kinds of gray areas that you will encounter in your professional life. Do you help that co-worker you hate while he is drowning in work that he isn’t too sharp at getting done, but that you’ve done a thousand times? Do you take equal credit for that great idea your colleague had although all you did was nod and agree? As you navigate your professional path your character will be constantly tested and you’ll build a reputation for yourself. It all depends on what you can live with doing to get ahead. If that office with the window and a few extra zeros is really worth you breaking backs and throwing others under the bus, assume the position.
Who doesn’t enjoy the occasional surprise of homemade cookies or cake in the office? It’s a nice, sweet gesture from one colleague to the office for all to enjoy. But according to a Forbes article, it’s possible that for women wanting to establish a solid professional image in the workplace, bringing this sweet treat to share with the office may be a bad idea for your image.
“It’s certainly an overt gesture,” Ellen Lubin-Sherman, New York-based business coach said to Forbes. “Baking cookies or bringing in treats does nothing but demonstrate your femininity. It sends mixed messages about your performance and can do serious damage to your reputation and gravitas. The next thing you know, you’ll be donning an apron.”
Most people who bring in treats for the office simply thought they were being nice and friendly. Perhaps they had hopes of bonding with their fellow employees or wanted to celebrate a colleague’s birthday in a special way. But Lubin-Sherman firmly asserts that bringing in baked goods can quickly be associated with motherhood and domestic duties, and that is not an image most of us want to portray in the workplace.
“If I saw my doctor in her office and we were talking through a difficult medical problem and she offered me a brownie she had baked, I would be very, very nervous,” she said. “I want my doctor to be reading medical journals on the weekend—not baking. She, and all women who want to be taken seriously in the workplace, should keep her baking to herself.”
Offering baked goods to a patient or a client may not be the best move, but office treats for employees is another matter. Linda Henman, president of executive strategy firm Henman Performance Group, tells Forbes that the days when women must hide their homemaking skills are over.
“I think that the notion that woman have to worry about gender questions like this is absolute nonsense,” she said. “Modern companies care about one question and one question only: can you deliver results?”
(Chicago Sun Times) — At work, it pays to be a jerk — literally. A paper co-authored by a University of Notre Dame professor shows that moderately disagreeable men earn an average of 18 percent, or $9,772, more than the average of moderately agreeable men. Both groups of men, though, earn more than the average salary for women — regardless of their workplace disposition. And while women are still lagging behind men in pay, disagreeable women earned 5 percent, or $1,828, over their more pleasant peers. “I don’t think anyone would look at that and think that’s fair, that’s OK,” said Timothy Judge, a Notre Dame management professor and paper’s author. “Our job is not to describe the ideal world but the world as it is.”
(Rolling Out) — Are you Miss Congeniality at work? If so, chances are, your mean co-workers earn more money than you. He may not be smarter, or more efficient than you, but just the mere fact that he’s a jerk makes him more valuable to the powers-that-be, according to a new study, “Do Nice Guys — and Gals — Really Finish Last?” by Dr. Livingston, Timothy A. Judge of the University of Notre Dame and Charlice Hurst of the University of Western Ontario, presented earlier this week at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management.
(Black Enterprise) — My friend, Kelly Abel, is one of those people you would hire to do anything. Why? Because she will not take on something she’s not going to succeed at and she’ll do anything (within reason) to win. It’s this quality that got her hired to manage a New York fitness center—even though she’d never done it before. Her new job was a potential nightmare. She inherited a demanding clientele, a downtrodden staff, a history of sub-par sales, and a facility in sore need of an upgrade. But Kelly was up for it. Always one to relish a challenge, she was even excited. Wildly competitive and energetic (and that’s putting it mildly), she worked around the clock with no regard for weekends or holidays, pitching in on everything from sales to cleaning the toilets when a housekeeper quit. Within eight weeks, a physical renovation of the club was underway and a cultural revolution had begun. Clients began popping into her office to compliment her on noted improvements. Her staff’s spirits were rebooted—a trainer even sent her flowers and a note saying she’d changed her life. Corporate was thrilled; the company president himself emailed kudos.
(BET) — Twenty-five percent of African-Americans reported feeling discriminated against in their current job, according to a new CareerBuilder survey of diverse workers that found continued inequalities in pay, career advancement and feelings of bias. CareerBuilder questioned more than 1,300 workers from six diverse backgrounds, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, women, workers with disabilities and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) workers for the Diversity in the Workplace survey. The study focused on larger economies and workforces, targeting the top 20 markets in the U.S. by population. The information was gathered between February 21 and March 10, 2011.
Many workplaces in corporate America are now becoming more focused on teamwork to accomplish project tasks. Whether it’s finding new innovative ways to improve efficiency or discovering avant-garde methods to set a precedent for a particular industry, teamwork is absolutely essential. For some individuals that are used to independence in the office setting, working as a part of team can be very difficult. Thus, they would rather continue working in an autonomous fashion. In today’s work culture, this can prove to be very detrimental. It is absolutely essential to be able to work both independently and with a team and to contribute successfully to your organization’s bottom line.
In this current time and space, it is imperative to become a team member that people throughout your organization are eager to work with. Here are eight qualities to become a great team member in your organization, who not only adds value to your organization and teammates but also assists the team in accomplishing the mission at hand.