How to Keep Your Job From Driving You Crazy

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We all have them. The times when our job is getting on our last nerve. Or we are being kept awake at night re-hashing some workplace drama in our mind. Hardly any of us escape those times, even if we basically love our jobs.

So is there a way that we can keep ourselves safe from these teeth-on-edge times? Well, yes, there is. Mostly when we find ourselves up at night, or in mental disarray, it always goes back to one thing—a relationship or more than one that is just not working.

Tough Times at Work Often Relate to Relationship Breakdowns

When I think back to some of the times in my career that had me tied in knots, they are all related to a relationship breakdown in some way. Some examples: I had a co-manager (who ever thought of such an arrangement was nuts—but that’s for another day.) This co-manager did not get the concept of ‘co’ and figured he was really in charge of the whole department. Thus, I had to constantly fight for my place.

Then in another job I was a brand spanking new manager whose staff thought I did not know a thing about managing people. The truth was that I had been a manager in another company so I was not totally clueless. However, they did not know this, whaving not been at that other company.

Which Work Relationships Could Benefit From Some TLC?

So what are your job crazy-makers? Betcha a bunch of money that they can all be traced back to a relationship or two that’s not in good order or that could benefit from a little TLC.

How do you do that? Understanding that the quality of the relationship (or lack of) is the first step. Then having the intention to do what it takes to make the relationship workable is what you need to do next. And the of course, you’ll need to take some action.

This is What I Did

So in the case of the co-manager from hell, I had to go into the lion’s den and stand up for myself. In the absence of my setting my own boundaries my colleague was perfectly happy to run rough-shod over me. However, once I set my guidelines and expectations, things became a lot better. Which brings me to another point. You don’t have to like another person in your workplace to make the relationship work better. It’s really nice if you do and a lucky circumstance, but it’s really not necessary. Improving a relationship at work—even with someone you don’t particularly like (and let’s face it, you’re not going to like everyone you work with, nor they you) can make your workplace a lot less crazy-making. Heck, it might even make it a place you enjoy spending time in…what a concept!

As for my staff who didn’t respect my potential as their manager, I chipped away at each person—spending time with them, listening to their concerns and roadblocks, and supporting them where I could. By the time I left that job three years later, there was a high level of trust and respect among all of us.

Don’t Forget About the Good Ones

So if you’re in one of your crazy-making periods, think about what relationships need  bolstering. And think about the good ones you have in place. When things go wrong, it’s always good to have someone to share that with who has your back. There’s nothing better than that.

Here’s a Book On the Subject

And in the spirit of shameless self-promotion, (or maybe not shameless), I should mention that I have co-authored a book on this very topic.  If you think that you might benefit from some reading on the topic, try this link: Relationships That Work, Work That Matters

Do your best to fix those crazy-making relationships. You spend too manymnay hours of your life at work to be unhappy there. Really…

If you’d like workplace success coaching, visit my web site and schedule a coaching information session to get started. No More Drama At Work.com

Trust in the Workplace—Build It and Guard It

 

3780_394912580592380_115401052_nI have been embroiled in a family crisis for the last few months and it has not been a lot of fun. However, I’ve learned or rather re-learned one or two valuable lessons– which is a good thing. When you have to suffer through a difficult time, you may as well get something out of it besides insomnia!

Trust is the bedrock of all successful relationships

That is what is prompting the subject of this post—trust. Trust is the bedrock of all successful relationships. If the trust goes away, it takes something to re-build it and in the meantime, the relationship is rocky at best. And it makes no difference whether the relationship is in your personal life or at work. The principles of building trust in a relationship are the same. And trust in the workplace is essential to getting your job done more successfully and easily. Most of the time when breakdowns happen at work it’s because trust has been broken,on some level. Think of any problem that you are now having at work and I’ll bet that there is a relationship breakdown somewhere in the chain that could be fixed with a good dose of trust-building. [Read more…]

Office Politics: Naughty or Nice?

Navigating Office PoliticsI’ve been thinking a lot about office politics in the past couple of weeks. That’s because I’ve been creating an audio program on the subject. I chose that topic because office politics seems to be a term that strikes fear in the hearts of people who work in an organization. Whenever things go wrong for people in their jobs, they tend to blame it on office politics. And often they’re right.

But rather than blame the politics, I suggest making office politics your friend—at least as much as you can. Then, rather than dreading its effect on you and your career, you could learn to be a positive actor in the politics of your workplace. [Read more…]