Forgotten How to be Social at Work?

As the pandemic morphs into an endemic, many remote workers are being asked to return to the office — some are less excited about it than others. In this episode of My Crazy Office, Kathi and Katherine ask the question, “Have you forgotten how to be social at work?” If so, here’s what you can do about it.

Should You Take That Promotion?

Theoretically, any promotion should be a good promotion. But there are certain situations where promoting you may benefit management, but not be great for your career. In this episode of My Crazy Office, Kathi and Katherine discuss which kinds of promotions you may not want to take, and how to say “no thank you,” without burning bridges.

Responding to negative feedback

How do you feel when someone offers negative feedback to you? Do you appreciate it? Do you wish the person would go away? Do you bristle or blush or get steaming mad?

Receiving, processing and responding to feedback that isn’t positive can be a challenging exercise for many people. If you’re someone who cares deeply about your work, if you’re determined to produce excellent results, negative feedback can be humbling — even painful.

But it’s also extremely rich. If you can take the message and use it for learning purposes, (instead of a whipping post) negative feedback always helps you grow.

Today, if someone criticizes your way of performing a task, or corrects your presentation, or re-writes your copy or critiques your design, see if you can take the information in without feeling bad about yourself or despising the messenger.

Say “I’m willing to find the good in this moment.” Take a breath, thank the person who delivers it, and take a little time to cool off. Then use the feedback to improve your professional self.

Before You Offer Advice…

Before you offer advice, make sure that the person on the receiving end is open to hearing it.

Sometimes, we think we know what someone needs to do or say or even wear at work. We’re sure that we’re right, and if our colleague or client would just listen to us, a certain problem or situation would immediately improve.

But offering unsolicited advice to someone who’s not ready to receive it can create more problems going forward.

Before you offer advice, stop and take the recipient’s temperature.

Say, “I’ve got a few ideas about how to resolve _________. Let me know when you’re ready to hear it.”

If you’re itching to advise a colleague on a personal matter like health or weight or love life, you’re better off waiting until that person requests your input.

If you can’t hold it in, say, “I’m having a strong reaction to ________. Can we discuss it?” Or “I’m really concerned about ________ . “ and see how the listener responds.

It may be hard to zip your lip. You may feel anxious and frustrated. But learning when and how to offer advice is an important life skill. It takes practice to offer assistance in a way that can be received.

Giving Yourself Credit

Ever notice yourself wanting more credit or recognition or appreciation from others for your hard work? Ever resent the people who have no problem patting themselves on the back or bragging about their accomplishments?

Building your own sense of value and confidence at work is an ongoing exercise. This is especially true if you work for someone who is highly demanding or extremely critical. It may also be true if you work for a company that expects everyone to bend over backwards to meet its goals

Today, try giving yourself credit for the things you wish someone else would appreciate. If you finish a report ahead of schedule, pat yourself on the back. If you field numerous customer complaints, acknowledge the skill and patience it took to do that. If you solve a major glitch in a software program, stand up and take a bow.

Taking a moment to savor your successes will increase you enjoyment at work. If you’re too busy to notice what you accomplished during the day, take a moment after work to write down three things you did right.

Yes, it would be better if the people you work for were more appreciative, but don’t let that stop you from taking in the good.

Slowing Down to Get Ahead

A world famous baseball pitcher was recently interviewed after a record-breaking season. Asked to explain how he managed to pitch five shutout games in a row, he said, “I spent a year slowing down so that I could play better.”

He explained that slowing down allowed him to refine his form, build his stamina, and clarify his strategy. He slowed down his workout, he slowed down his practices, and he slowed down his pitches. Slowing down improved his concentration and enhanced his performance. It taught him how to think.

Slowing down to get ahead is anti-intuitive. Faced with a myriad of things on our to-do lists, it’s natural to think that we need to speed up, move faster, make quick decisions.

Today, if you feel overwhelmed by your workload, if your to-do list gives you agita, try slowing down. Focus in on what you’re doing right now. If your mind starts to race, take a few slow deep breaths and see if you can reduce the sense of urgency.

See if slowing down, just a little bit, can help you get ahead.

Adjusting your routine to feel better

I know, I know. You’re too busy and too tired to do anything for yourself. You don’t have time for exercise or relaxation or spending time with good friends. You don’t have the energy to do anything that would actually alleviate your stress.

You’re busy working longer hours, not taking lunch, eating take-out, staring at your smart phone, and crashing into bed after you pass out in front of the computer or the t.v.
Think again.

Just a slight adjustment in your routine could make a world of difference. It could be 15 minutes of exercise a day, or a brief morning meditation, or going to bed a half hour earlier, or walking to work instead of taking the bus. It could be one less cup of coffee, or bringing healthy snacks to work, or attending one spin class a week.

Whatever the change, commit to it, and build it into your routine. Don’t wait to be rescued. Only you can make the time to feel better.

Try inserting a small activity into your routine for 90 days, and see how you feel.

Do you unhook?

Unhooking is a system for changing your reaction to emotionally upsetting circumstances at work. It could be a difficult coworker, a demanding boss or an impossible client. To unhook, you have to stop waiting for the other person to change, and start taking back your power. The first step in unhooking is physical.

Unhook physically by taking actions to release the negative energy stored in your body from dealing with someone else’s bad behavior. Methods for unhooking physically include washing your face, taking a walk, playing sports, working out, doing yoga or simply breathing slowly and deeply. Try it today. If you feel your head throbbing, your neck aching, your stomach churning or your arms tingling, do something physical to unhook. You’ll be glad you did.