Wound up by Colleagues to the Point of Poisoning!

A recent US news story (reported in HRGrapevine) reports on an office dispute that went too far, and brownies designed as a leaving present were baked with laxatives!

Research from Brother UK has revealed an interesting list of the main causes of office arguments and disruption;

  • Gossiping colleagues rates at number one, with 34% of workers citing it.
  • Followed by loud-mouthed colleagues ranked at 31%.
  • Messy workers – 27%.
  • Theft – 26% (!)
  • And tardiness – 26%.

Wow!  How do you feel about your co-workers?  And how annoying are you!?
There are lots of reasons why office disputes or unpleasantness can happen, including stress, deadlines, focus, frustration and lack of conscious awareness.  We are all different and we often like to work differently, one person’s annoyingly messy desk can be viewed by another as a productive and creative space, with everything to hand.
The vast majority of us – whether we are conscious of it or not – are judgmental.  Malcom Gladwell in his book ‘Blink’, talks about how we ‘thin slice’ and make judgements and decisions on small amounts of data and experience. We filter the world based on our point of view, frequently stopping us from being truly open and tolerant of others, let alone welcoming our differences.
A lack of real connection at work often stops us bringing our true selves to work, and prevents realness and trust.

So, is it just luck as to whether we like and get on with our co-workers or not?
Is it all about them – or also about you?  Would you like to work with you?
We know that all of us can actively do something to create good working relationships that fuel a real and trusting work environment. 
Research from Relate shares that having good connections is important for our well-being as well as our health.  Thinking positively about others and building relationships and trust is important, it makes us feel connected and ourselves. Research shows that there is also a clear link between building positive relationships with trust and business performance.Paul J Zak has spent years researching this link and has found, (as reported in HBR): ’’Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives and 40% less burnout.’’His research has also found that when we start to trust someone, oxytocin is released in the brain. A so called ‘sociable’ chemical, it increases empathy, a rather useful trait when trying to work with others! Impacting motivation, energy and positive culture.
From our work with iAM, bringing realness to individuals and teams, we see an average impact of 85% on improving relationships. And this week I’d like to share some of the power of our trust building approach!
Some top tips for creating more trust in your relationships, team and business culture;

  1. Decide to actively lift your openness and notice when you are holding back.  How much of a relationship do you have with your inner self and how you are seen by others?  What’s your self-awareness like?  Do you have a filter?  Notice!  You matter!
  2. Decide to be less defensive about your own ideas and opinions; ask others how to make them even better, and welcome opinion and commentary.
  3. Share information about yourself. A google study found that managers who “express interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being” outperform others in the quality and quantity of their work.  Great, but openness often starts with you.  It’s ok to let people in.
  4. Embrace difference.  Notice difference.  Instead of deciding people are wrong, better or worse than you, see them as different to you.  Remember that we are all unique and others are not like you, so stop expecting them to be!
  5. Make friends at work. Remembering that our colleagues are funny and real people, rather than just roles, humanises the workplace.  Do you decide to see the real and engage with the best in others?
  6. Be curious, what can I learn from this situation or other’s ideas?  Stop needing to prove yourself or your rightness and absorb instead.
  7. Manage your emotional response and take accountability for your mood – don’t give your power away.  Realise that others may see you as a challenge.  Don’t stop challenging but decide to stop being the challenge!
8/9/10. Be yourself at work.
Discovery Centre From Courageous Success Inspiration