Monday, February 5, 2007

8 Easy Ways To Cope In A Hostile Work Place

Do you get stressed out at the thought of going to work every morning?

Does the thought of spending eight or more hours at work each day get you all wound up and sweaty?

Do you constantly find yourself wishing that Monday mornings were Friday evenings?

Does the mere thought of interacting with your boss or co-workers leave you feeling emotionally drained?

If these feelings have nothing to do with your ineffectiveness at work, then you are probably in a hostile work place.

What makes a work place hostile varies largely, but it’s commonly attributed to having a bad boss (this could be an understatement), co-workers who drive you up the wall, and an ineffective Human Resource Department, among other things.

Here are 8 survival tips to help you cope in a hostile work place until the tide turns in your favor:

1. Work on yourself.

As irritating as the situation may be, learn to contain yourself. Develop an internal coping mechanism like counting to ten before you respond to an annoying or insensitive comment.

Draw strength from a higher power. Pray, meditate and do whatever it takes to get yourself together, calm and composed.

2. Keep reminding yourself why you are at the job.

Why are you working in that company? Are you there for the money, experience or for personal fulfillment? What are you hoping to achieve? Whatever the reason, let the objective you want to achieve give you the strength to survive each day.

3. Don’t mix business with pleasure.

If you can help it, draw the line between your private life and your life at work. Sometimes unnecessary socialization at work provides the ammunition that makes your work environment even more unbearable.
A little gossip at the copy machine with a co-worker can be the beginning of a nightmare.

4. Be courteous and professional.

Conducting yourself in a professional manner seals the lips of those who want to capitalize on your unprofessional behavior to make your life a misery. Before you respond to annoying e-mails, or speak to your boss or co-worker about frustrating issues, calm down, take a deep breath and avoid the temptation to escalate the matter.

5. Learn what not to do.

Since life is always about making progress and getting better, consider your work environment as the best teaching arena to learn something about yourself, learn what not to do, learn what not to say and also who not to trust in future.

If you are planning to start your own business or be in management, consider this a good place to learn about how not to treat employees or how to be a good boss!

6. Look within yourself and be creative.

It's amazing how a hostile work place can bring out the best in you. What you are experiencing may force you to look deep within yourself to explore your life from a new perspective. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you learn about yourself and this may prompt you to expand your range in terms of what you want to do in life.

When you have reached the end of your rope, start focusing on what matters most and expect better things for yourself.

7. Stand up for yourself.

Do not keep silent about the hostility. Speak up for yourself, defend your actions when necessary, talk to someone who might listen to you, record your complaints with Human Resources and do whatever is necessary to set the record straight. Even if the results of your action are not what you expect, it really feels good to know that you are standing up for yourself and letting your voice be heard.

8. Jump ship!

Stay on the look out for better opportunities elsewhere so that when your job situation gets so bad and unbearable, and after you have exhausted all options, you can get the courage to be good to yourself and jump ship!

By: Caroline Jalango

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Caroline coaches women, provides strategies and solutions, motivates and helps women who want to do better for themselves, create and live, meaningful, happier, productive, improved and purpose driven lives. Visit and SIGN UP for your FREE "do better for yourself" mini e-course designed to help you develop and maintain the momentum to do better for yourself and get the results you want!

10 Ways To Empower Your Communication

The Blarney Stone is a historical stone, or actually part of the Blarney Castle in Ireland where it was believed that kissing the stone can grant you the gift of gab. Yeah, it seems strange in this day and age, but who are we to question tradition? It's not like I'm saying that Santa Claus doesn't exist (OOPS!).

There is so much to know about conversation that anyone, even I, could ever realize. You can go though watching talk shows; radio programs; clubs dedicated to public speaking; ordinary conversations; certain rules still apply when it comes to interaction through words. It may sound tedious, I know, but even though it's your mouth that's doing the work, your brain works twice as hard to churn out a lot of things you know. So what better way to start learning to be an effective communication is to know the very person closest to you: yourself.

1. What you know.
Education is all about learning the basics, but to be an effective speaker is to practice what you've learned. My stint as guest at every Toastmasters' meeting I go to taught me that we all have our limitations, but that doesn't mean we can't learn to keep up and share what we know.

2. Listening.
It's just as important as asking questions. Sometimes listening to the sound of our own voice can teach us to be a little bit confident with ourselves and to say the things we believe in with conviction.

3. Humility
We all make mistakes, and sometimes we tend to slur our words, stutter, and probably mispronounce certain words even though we know what it means, but rarely use it only to impress listeners. So in a group, don't be afraid to ask if you're saying the right word properly and if they're unsure about it then make a joke out of it. I promise you it'll make everyone laugh and you can get away with it as well.

4. Eye Contact
There's a lot to say when it comes to directing your attention to your audience with an eye-catching gaze. It's important that you keep your focus when talking to a large group in a meeting or a gathering, even though he or she may be gorgeous.

5. Kidding around
A little bit of humor can do wonders to lift the tension, or worse boredom when making your speech. That way, you'll get the attention of the majority of the crowd and they'll feel that you're just as approachable, and as human to those who listen.

6. Be like the rest of them
Interaction is all about mingling with other people. You'll get a lot of ideas, as well as knowing what people make them as they are.

7. Me, Myself, and I
Admit it, there are times you sing to yourself in the shower. I know I do! Listening to the sound of your own voice while you practice your speech in front of a mirror can help correct the stress areas of your pitch. And while you're at it you can spruce up as well.

8. With a smile
A smile says it all much like eye contact. There's no point on grimacing or frowning in a meeting or a gathering, unless it's a wake. You can better express what you're saying when you smile.

9. A Role Model
There must be at least one or two people in your life you have listened to when they're at a public gathering or maybe at church. Sure they read their lines, but taking a mental note of how they emphasize what they say can help you once you take center stage.

10. Preparation
Make the best out of preparation rather than just scribbling notes and often in a hurried panic. Some people like to write things down on index cards, while other resort to being a little more silly as they look at their notes written on the palm of their hand (not for clammy hands, please). Just be comfortable with what you know since you enjoy your work.

And that about wraps it up. These suggestions are rather amateurish in edgewise, but I've learned to empower myself when it comes to public or private speaking and it never hurts to be with people to listen how they make conversations and meetings far more enjoyable as well as educational.

By: David Slone

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Copyright 2006 David Slone. Visit Why Do We Dream for information on dreams such as nightmares, sleepwalking, lucid dreaming and more. Free content articles you can use on your website, ezine or newsletter. You may republish this article on your website provided author information and active link(s) are left intact.