By Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks, SBR Workplace Leadership Services
All too often we can be quick to point out the fault and flaws in others but fail to notice the issues that lie within us. Although we often focus on danger in the workplace coming from others, could you be a danger to your workplace?
Have you considered the role you play in the workplace and how you are perceived by others, such as your managers, your employees, your co-workers, your customers, the local government officials, and other stakeholders? Would they say that you are approachable? Would they say you are easy to get along with? Would they say they would want you to still be working there in another year? Below are a few areas to consider when thinking about your interactions in the workplace and determining areas for development and improvement.
When news is shared within an organization that makes you unhappy, what is your initial reaction? This could be news regarding a layoff, cuts in budgeting, new management or leadership, moving to a new location, or otherwise. This could be news that is considered a breaking point based on many other challenges one could be facing at the time of this news. The information could be a trigger that causes a snapping reaction that anyone is capable of. Assess yourself to determine if your initial snapping reaction to bad news is one of crying, shouting, running, fighting, or a heightened level of violence. You have to determine how well you can control yourself and how your reactions affect others. Otherwise, you become a threat to your own organization.
Are you able to relate to others? Can you understand why they feel how they feel? Can you feel what they feel? These are questions that describe empathy, which is the ability to process another person’s feelings and respond based on that understanding.
If you are unable to process and understand these feelings, you may be a danger to the workplace. You will not possess the sensitivity required to move through challenges and changes in an organization effectively which will ultimately affect customer service and profits. You may have challenges with interacting with others in many aspects. It is important to seek ways to effectively listen to others, understand others, work to find common ground, compromise, make decisions, and move forward where everyone feels heard, respected, and understood.
Do you possess the skill of effective communication in order to determine what problems exist and work to resolve them in a non-threatening manner? Problem solving and conflict resolution are skills that are needed in order to be successful in the workplace, especially as a manager or leader. Challenges will always arise, and you have to be willing to communicate about it and to do so effectively where relationships remain intact and the issues are resolved. This allows for building interpersonal relationships as well as addressing issues that do not impact positive progression. Without this ability, it is dangerous to the continued success of the organization and the sustained relationships of employees throughout the organization. There are trainings available to assist with handling difficult situations which may be useful for your organization. SBR Workplace Leadership Services provides these workshops among many others.
Change & Growth
Do you accept change? Are you willing to grow and develop and not see change as a threat to you or the organization? Change is unpredictable and can seem scary at times, and more so in the workplace. The change could be adding new employees, new products and/or services, changing locations, servicing new locations, adjusting budgets, changes in policies, or otherwise. Will all change be beneficial? It will not always be successful, but you will not know this until you try new things and give it a chance. Without change, the organization’s growth will be stunted which is a danger to the organization at-large. One must be open enough to try new things, give stakeholders an opportunity to share their feedback, and assess if additional changes need to be made in order to complement a major change.
Overall, each individual in the workplace is an important component to its ultimate success and no one wants to the one who threatens the growth and success of where the organization can go. Stop and complete a self-reflective assessment to determine your role in the advancement of the organization.
Answer these questions throughout this article for yourself. Avoid being the danger that keeps you all from reaching and exceeding your goals and fully succeeding in all that you do. There are enough opportunities in the world of commerce for each organization to play a role and be successful.