I know what you might be thinking.
You may be thinking that this should be something that is second nature. Or maybe that there should not be an article written like this because, well, we all know better.
Or at least we should.
Sadly, this is not the case.
Too often I have heard of cases in which people are discussed about in a negative light. When the conversation gets back to that individual (and it often does), they are riddled with feelings of sadness, anger, and fear for their jobs.
Is that really how we want to work with one another? It should not be!
Speaking with kindness and good intent can be beneficial to you. Regardless of whether you want to climb the corporate ladder or not. This should be the basis of all communication while at work.
When you speak, write an email, or just encounter others, kindness and good intent will help you gain influence, and leaving you feeling better about each day that passes while working in any environment.
Let's get started on why you should leave malicious intent behind.
#1 You Build Relations
The first benefit of speaking with kindness is that you gain influence and relationships with others when doing so.
I'm not saying that you should always look at a coworker as a means to get to a higher paying position. What I am saying is that you will inevitably reduce the number of headaches that you get at work when you take care of your co-workers.
Listen to them when they speak. Asking probing questions about the situation they are sharing.
If the conversation is with someone that has a higher standing than you, take the time to listen and grow from their experience. They got to the position they are in because they had the right mixture of leadership skills. You can gain benefits by listening and taking mental notes.
Gaining relations can help you when you enter a crisis or situation that requires someone you trust to give you feedback. Or they can back you when it comes to a point where it's needed.
Be careful not to abuse your co-worker's relationship with you. If they feel like they are being used, you will find yourself without allies when the time is critical. This is a position where you do not want to be.
#2 Nothing You Say Can Come Back to Bite You
Have you ever stopped while in the middle of gossiping about a person to evaluate your feelings?
If you have, how did you feel at that very moment?
Chances are that you did not feel too good about yourself or the situation.
Being self-aware when speaking means that you are in tune with your emotions at the time the conversation is in play. If you are feeling negatively when you are having a conversation with someone, chances are they are feeling negative too. And we never want the person receiving our message to feel like that.
When you do engage in gossip, or speaking ill of others, you open yourself up to attacks from that very individual. You should speak of everyone as if you are speaking to them directly. Chances are, that negativity will travel much faster than positivity these days, therefore, you should not engage in any thing that brings about negative conversations.
This may be difficult to do if you are in a position in which you are coaching individuals. Your job is in fact, to look for areas of improvement.
You can do this without seeming malicious by using collaborative tones when discussing the situation. Seek to understand why the situation came to be in the first place. If you feel that the conversation is going into a negative direction, adjust your approach. Avoid accusatory verbiage. Keep the tone light find a solution with the individual that will work for both your interests.
The majority of problems in communications between a supervisor and employee is that the supervisor leads the conversation and comes up with one sided solution without asking the employee for their input. This leads to the individual feeling as though their opinion does not matter in any way.
Your solution may work for you because, well, you are you. You know yourself and know that if implemented it will work for you. But that employee is unique to themselves. Solutions should be created in collaboration with the employee.
There are times where a supervisor may come across an individual who does not want to take charge of the situation. This should be a warning sign to the supervisor, as it shows a lack of initiative on that individual. Nevertheless, in this situation it is good to bring about a solution for them, however, keep track of similar problems that may arise in the future. A disciplinary step may be warranted.
#3 You Will Seem Formless (Fly Under the Radar)
Another benefit to take into consideration while communicating with others with kindness and good intent is that you will not be made a target.
Let's face it people, we live in a world where people will not take things you say with a light heart. If you hurt someone, you will inevitably make an enemy. People have long memories. You should consider this when speaking of anyone, or to anyone.
When you remain kind, you lift the weight of looking over your shoulder at work. You have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Sometimes, our guilty conscious will sink us quicker than anyone else does. After gossiping or speaking negatively, you make mistakes more often. Or you are unable to think clearly because you continue to worry about whether someone told so-so what you said.
If you are going to speak ill, then it's best not to say anything at all. If you need to vent to someone, vent to someone that you do not work with. They will not be able to put your job or reputation on the line because they are not in direct contact with anyone that you work with.
#4 People Will Feel Bad If They Cross You
If you continue to treat others with respect, dignity and kindness, they will be less likely to cross you or stab you in the back. This is of course provided that the individual has feelings and are not so competitive that they dismissed their values.
The hard and true reality is that people have become more and more competitive. So much so that they disregard everything that is decent in order to get to their goal. Sometimes, no matter what you do or how well you treat these individuals, they will counter you. Although unsaid, rest assured that every instance in which you gain influence or momentum, you will also be the subject of envy from those who remain highly competitive and ambitious.
Yes- being competitive and ambitious may get you in high places. However, if you cross others while on your way to the top, you may make some enemies that will stop at nothing to end your success.
The only way to combat this is to stay true to who you are and what you do. If you are a good individual with a high moral standing every time someone encounters you, then any rumor or lie that is uttered about you will come under question.
#5 Leave People with Good Feelings
Leaving people with a good experience after a conversation may seem a little repetitive in this article. However, it is an important benefit to take into consideration.
Let’s be clear, no one likes a person that continuously brings about a negative feeling. If you are the bearer of bad news all the time, then people will dread your communication with them. Some may even try to avoid it. Therefore, it is best to try to communicate with people often.
Say hello, just because you thought of someone.
Make someone smile every now and then.
Make sure that every experience that you have when communicating with others is a memorable and joyful experience. You will find that when you do, you will not only have more influence, but you will gain more friends.
#6 Feel Good About Yourself
When you leave others feeling good and with a great experience, you in turn are infected with the same euphoria. During these turbulent times, there is nothing better than gaining happiness at this price.
There is more to life than gaining a higher position within your corporation. Although we all would like a better paying job or position, you should also value the opportunities that come your way.
Every situation has its benefits. People that give you a hard time, or challenges that you might face will give you a better and deeper understanding of just how resilient you are.
Good and joyful experiences will give you hope for brighter days on your darkest hours. And people with good hearts will help support you when you feel alone. Cherish these as you would cherish a new Rolex or car.
Some individuals in the corporate world cannot separate ambition and competition from just being a very good well-rounded individual. That is why human resources is there to decipher when an individual has crossed professional boundaries. When the situation has become distracting to others, they will then perform an analysis and render their decision.
Before it gets that far, we should take a moment to evaluate how we come across to others.
Is my message coming from a good place? Why or why not? How can this message be conveyed in a way which will be more receptive by the person I am trying to communicate with?
You can never go wrong with being kind and compassionate. Although the world around us is forever changing, your morals should never be sacrificed for material objects. Cherish those you love and one another.
5 Reasons Why You Should Stay Humble
I have a feeling that this article will inspire much debate.
However, if you are in your 30s and have worked at a great many companies, then you will understand where the idea of this may actually make sense.
When you are bright-eyed and entering the workforce, you will not know that there are people within the company that have high levels of competitive nature. Some companies encourage the competition among colleagues, while others have little to no folks that view each other as a bug to squash.
Whatever place you first decide to work in, whether it be at Dunkin Donuts, or Wall Street, there will no doubt be someone who is aspiring to climb the ladder to leadership.
Which is why I write this article.
It’s not to say that a little competition is bad. If that was the case, this blog would not be continuously evolving. Competing with yourself is always encouraged. Becoming a better version of yourself is always a good thing.
The problem arises when the competitive nature becomes bothersome to others. Someone lies to demoralize a co-worker’s character at a most critical time. Another sabotages a colleague’s work in order to make them seem like they do not know what they are doing. You refuse to help someone else because you do not want them to get ahead.
These instances are when competing becomes problematic. And believe me they do happen. In order to not become a victim of these circumstances, it is best that we lay low a little.
Here are some reasons and ways that describe why you should be humble and not discuss your achievements as often as most people do.
1. Do Not Scream Your Achievements, They Inspire Envy
Recently while travelling, I read a book entitled 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin. In this book, the author touches on social media and a study of individuals while exposed to news on these platforms.
What I found interesting is that the majority of people on these platforms express joy at the bad news of others. They measure their lives to others who, in their view, are successful. When sudden misfortune falls on these individuals, there is a certain amount of satisfaction that others feel.
This is also true in the work environment.
I have seen instances where an individual will discuss some happy achievement in their life, such as receiving a promotion, only to be brought into Human Resources for bragging.
Your achievements, while in the workplace, should be muttered by others and not by you. If you do discuss achievements, you will fall victim to people who will target you and your headaches will increase.
Your achievements, should you like to share them, should be expressed among individuals who truly care about you. Celebrate with those who preferably do not work in the same place as you do.
2. Become a Void- Make Alliances
Essentially, the first step is working to get you to this second step.
Becoming a void is something you should greatly value above all things while entering the workforce. If you do not scream your achievements, then you give others nothing to target.
If you make alliances with individuals, they will serve to protect your reputation. This should not be entirely relied on, but you can definitely use this to your advantage.
You should never, EVER, outwardly show signs of competition or aggression. Every person that you meet may have deeper bonds with others who in turn have influence on how high you go within the company. Therefore, it is best to practice to treat others with the respect and dignity that you deserve.
Yes, you read that right.
If you want respect, you need to give respect. Make time for others throughout the work day. Leave them with a good experience every time and you will never fail.
Alliances serve for two purposes. The first has just been mentioned, the second is to increase the likelihood of creating the void. If you continuously make friends and not enemies, there will be no one to hinder your work and steps to higher positions within the company.
3. Reduce Drama- Check Your Alliances
Your alliances should be chosen carefully. Make their availability to you limited in what you say and discuss. Show them reliability, and watch their response.
Alliances at work, just like anything else in life, should be checked periodically. The reason why this step is here is because most of us tend to think once we make our alliances, that is it. Our job is done. That thought process is a grave mistake.
People’s feelings, and emotions change constantly. You may be friendly with someone one minute, and the next minute they are upset with you for a remark you said.
Talk daily with others. Network. Discuss ideas and work collaboratively on projects. While doing so, look for signs that would give out a warning.
I have a supervisor who I friended on Facebook. We were good friends and I thought nothing would come out of my sharing outside work life with her. When I was mentioned for a certain promotion, she used my social media platform as a way to defer that promotion to someone else in a very public way. This was done with other highly placed individuals in attendance.
Betrayal can be around every corner when working in an environment with highly ambitious people. It can distract you from what is here and now. Regardless, we should always approach people with caution, respect, and compassion.
4. Bring About Confusion
If you have followed all the steps above then you have (for certain) brought about step four. Confusion.
Evoking people’s emotions and feelings when they think of you (in a good way) is great for setting yourself up for success. Even the most ambitious individuals enjoy having someone around who seemingly does not want recognition for their accomplishments and make them feel good about themselves.
This will then cause internal conflict when a situation arises. You are taken into consideration for promotions, but there will be no one there that will be willing to sabotage your efforts. The resistance will lessen, and the waters to success will be a smoother voyage than without alliances.
Keep in mind, most people in highly placed positions are not interested in what you have done. They are interested in what you will do.
When involved with someone who has been in a position that involves authority over others, take the time to listen and learn from them. They can give you invaluable information that you can carry with you to your next position.
Think of yourself as a sponge when you come into contact with these types of colleagues. You are there to absorb their knowledge and past experiences. You are then armoring yourself with this to go forward and forge your way in the business.
Use this information wisely.
5. Humble Folks Get Somewhere
Have you ever been around someone who can’t help but talk themselves up whenever you have good news to share.
It’s almost like, they can’t help but share their accomplishments once you share yours to remind themselves they are successful as well.
How has that experience left you? Did you want to share good news with them again?
Chances are that you did not. In fact, you may have tried to avoid them after. This is exactly the reason why you should humble yourself around people.
We know you are smart, good looking, and have great toys. What corporate folks are looking for are individuals that can get the work done for the betterment of the company.
By emphasizing all types of accomplishments, they will feel that you have nothing to give to the company if you are continuously working on yourself. This is not to say that it is a bad thing. It just means that your time is already stretched thin by all these great things that you have done and may not have time to dedicate yourself to the work on hand.
Let others highlight your accomplishments within the business. Take control of your time and availability to others. Reduce drama by keeping your alliances in check. Bring about mixed feelings of satisfaction and regret when you do get promoted. And, continue to be humbled by your ability to grow and succeed.
Not everyone is cut out to be in a highly competitive work environment. After reading this, you may be more inclined to work for yourself. That is okay.
It is tough to be tough in such a place. Just like every other challenge, however, you will come out a stronger and well polished individual. You will have new and improved skill sets to use. You can also build off these skills attained from conflict in the workplace to grow.
Make sure that if you do enter such an environment, you have people around you who support you every step of the way. They will keep you grounded, and sane. They will also remind you that life is more than work. Life is about giving all of yourself to those who love you and cherish you in a way that brings tears streaming down your face.
Yaritza Ellison has been an nurse since 2010. She has been essential to the healing process of many and seeks to continue to do so. Her passion for mental health and self help literature has lead her to launch justyari.org, where she aspires to coach young ladies navigating through work-life balance.