“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” – Epictetus, Greek Philosopher
Discussions around workplace behavior tend to follow a path of airing complaints and pointing to the ‘bad’ actions, habits, and attitudes of co-workers. While taking ownership and responsibility for problems comes easier to some than others, no matter how bad you perceive a situation to be, the following steps can help you to address and respond to issues without making things worse.
Working It Out
Assuming that all co-workers or employees have it all together and will conduct themselves professionally within the workplace is where frustration easily develops. We’ve all experienced conflicts with differences in opinions, personalities, and individual preferences. These may be annoying, but they aren’t necessarily the behaviors that consistently affect team performance in a negative way.
How do you deal with those who are impacting productivity because of behaviors such as:
- Poor organizational skills
- An inability to prioritize
- Lacking motivation
Not confronting, not dealing with these types of issues is not the answer, but how you deal with the person is instrumental in determining the success of the outcome. Try to see this as an opportunity to help a team member take ownership, be accountable, and improve their level of performance.
The following bad behaviors are never acceptable and can come at a very high cost to you, your coworkers or employees and, ultimately, your company:
- Harassing and Bullying
If you are a witness to any of these seriously unethical behaviors, or if you experience any of these behaviors first-hand, your options will depend on your relationship to the person and your position in the company. It’s important that you carefully consider what steps to take and, if possible, give opportunity for the individual to take ownership and accountability.
Inappropriate behaviors in the workplace demand appropriate responses. The good news is that you can always choose how to respond. Often the right response can be as simple as choosing to:
- Practice patience
- Consider the cause, the “why”
- Develop increased trust within relationships
- Encourage conversation for better understanding
A healthy workplace is a successful workplace. Improving working relationships improves productivity.
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