CONNIE’S CAREER CORNER
“Do not get caught in Junior High Drama”
Tip for the day: Guard your reputation. It is the best asset you have.
Q: Dear Connie: I have a co-worker who is constantly trying to make an issue out of whatever is happening. She spends more time talking about things that do not apply to the workplace than working. Can you give me some tips to avoid this drama?
A: Dear Wanting to Avoid the Drama Queen: One thing that can derail a career faster than anything else is to be a part of “junior high drama” in the workplace. Supervisors will not deem a person an asset if that person is always spreading gossip. I am glad you see the situation for what it is and are seeking ways to avoid being involved with this type of behavior.
Some people thrive on the excitement that they can generate by making personal issues a workplace problem. Often trying to cause problems between co-workers is a result of needing attention or a low self-esteem.
The question is, “What is your responsibility in this situation?” You will want to always approach workplace problems with professionalism. When you bring personal problems into the office, it opens up the opportunity for other to share their opinions and even gossip about your personal life. Share the positive things in your life, but consider keeping conflicts at home out of the workplace.
Ask yourself, “Is this situation a part of my job?” If it is work related, address the challenge. While at work concentrate on your business life; not your personal life. If you share your personal life with this person, you are opening the door for their involvement.
Do not get caught up in “he said, she said.” Remove yourself from interoffice drama by keeping your opinions of others to yourself. This will avoid comments you make from being repeated and maybe misrepresented. Sometimes it is best to just walk away from a conversation.
When this person learns that you will not engage in talking about co-workers or be a part of spreading gossip, she will probably leave you alone and move on to talking to someone else. Professionalism is they key.