Remember in elementary school when one kid did something mean to a fellow student and the teacher would make the offender apologize? A squeaked out “sorry” might have been enough to patch up a recess squabble, but an insincere apology isn’t going to cut it after yelling at a co-worker or being caught gossiping. Show your maturity, and limit the damage, by voluntarily making a heart-felt effort to right your wrong.
When you find yourself in the middle of an uncomfortable confrontation, asking the right questions may salvage the situation and give you time to think. Communication expert Andrew Sobel offers three examples of how this strategy works:
Cubicles were designed to try to give each person a bit of personal space, but as anyone who has smelled a neighbor’s lunch or overheard a colleague’s phone argument knows, the walls aren’t very private. Thus, it becomes especially important for co-workers to practice proper etiquette and respect even the flimsiest of partitions.
The sad truth is that office gossip is a fact of life. People enjoy spreading rumors and engaging in speculation and innuendo. While some companies consider it harmless, gossip can damage relationships and subject team members to unwanted harassment.
As an office professional, you likely hear a lot of gossip. As difficult as it may be, it’s up to you to avoid passing it along. Instead, develop strategies for neutralizing the negative effects of gossip, and help maintain a positive office atmosphere.
While you might be dying to share the good news of your upcoming bundle of joy with the whole office, waiting to announce your pregnancy can be a smart career move. Bosses and co-workers may be genuinely happy for you, but they also may worry about your impending absence or covering your workload.