Work hassles? Here is what you can do3 min read . Updated: 01 Feb 2011, 11:42 PM IST
Work hassles? Here is what you can do
Work hassles? Here is what you can do
Millions of people struggle every day at the workplace—not with the work itself, but the stream of perplexing human relationship situations that are thrown at them. While no school book equips you for such situations, What Smart People Do When Dumb Things Happen at Work by management professor Charles E. Watson tells you what to do when someone violates company policy at your workplace, when you don’t get rewarded sufficiently for your work, and other such situations. Edited excerpts:
DILEMMA: Your boss asks you to tackle an assignment but you do not fully understand what you are supposed to do and you fear that if you ask for a clarification and direction, your boss will become angry and think you are incompetent.
TIP: Peter Drucker, perhaps the most widely acclaimed authority on management, once wrote that the most important role managers perform is to develop employees, giving them the vision and skills they need to perform effectively. Managers are, first and foremost, developers of their employees. Their number one job is to teach employees what they want and equip them with the skills and abilities needed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, under any circumstances.
DILEMMA: You and two other people worked on a project that turned out quite well and your boss was pleased with the results. You contributed the bulk of the effort and do not think it’s fair that the other two share the rewards and recognition you think should go to you.
TIP: Getting yourself off centerstage is never easy. Perhaps it’s impossible for us to do it completely. Every great personality I have known or read about who has the capacity to remove themselves from their own concerns has been committed to serving something greater than themselves. The answer, therefore, lies in replacing concern for self with a greater concern for something else. It is much like what happens when parents give up their own welfare or safety for the good of the child they deeply love. We can primarily love ourselves, or we can commit that love to something far greater.
DILEMMA: You have an idea for improving the way things are done where you work, but your idea conflicts with established thinking and popular long-held beliefs.
TIP: Be obedient to standards, not popular opinions. The belief that the accepted wisdom is forever valid frequently hinders progress. This kind of thinking categorically dismisses anything other than current methods as being unworkable, forbids their questioning, and discourages further experimentation. Acquiescence to those who insist on maintaining established procedures because of their popularity is an enemy of change.
A wise person neglects the changing and conflicting opinions of others and faithfully follows the standards that are worthy of obedience. Do what you believe is the right thing to do, neither to earn praise nor avoid blame, but because you believe in what you are about to do.
DILEMMA: You learn that one of your subordinates may have violated company policy, and from the information you have about the matter, it appears to be true. This gives you an opportunity to impress your new boss by demonstrating you “run a tight ship".
TIP: A useful guideline for us to follow as we move through life is to search our souls for underlying motives. We all want to have a good reputation, do the right thing, and act with courage. However, it is deceptively easy to pursue these aims at the expense of others whose flaws and shortcomings can be exploited to our advantage.
Truth is, there are plenty of flawed people who unintentionally and unthinkingly slip in what they say and do. These otherwise well-meaning people frequently become the targets of anyone who wants to promote their popularity. Each of us is vulnerable, because each of us is flawed in one way or another.
The desire to look good blinds accusers to interpretations regarding someone else’s “bad" behaviour. Those who heed gossip travelling through the organizational grapevine join the condemnations, becoming swept up in the unproductive and divisive conflict. The only way to stop this is to prevent it from happening in the first place, and for that you need to inspect your heart and weed out motives that place “looking good" ahead of “doing good."
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