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Cant WE All Just Get Along at work


NEVER make suggestive comments or tell jokes that make fun of a co-worker's ... Clean up after yourselves. Knock before entering a co-worker's office. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cant WE All Just Get Along at work

Cant WE All Just Get Along (at work)?
  • Presented by
  • Beth C Richardson
  • for SPEAK

Training Overview
  • 1) Learn ways to build a peaceful work
  • 2) Understand differences among staff members
  • 3)Learn steps to handling interpersonal
  • 4) Learn conflict resolution strategies

Getting along with your co-workers
Do your part
  • Be positive. Smile, be upbeat and greet everyone
  • Be a team player
  • Avoid gossip
  • Make an effort to resolve conflicts
  • Be pleasant and personable
  • Respect confidences
  • Avoid harassment
  • Be courteous
  • Be aware of different work styles

Understand differences among staff members
  • Diversity refers to recognizing individuals
    characteristics and what makes them distinct from
  • Diversity enriches the environment we live in

Diversity includes
  • Age
  • Language
  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Skills
  • Gender
  • Abilities
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Perspectives
  • Talents
  • Class
  • And more..

Workplace tensions can arise when we perceive our
colleagues to be different from ourselves ( From
  • One of the most effective ways to diffuse tension
    at work is by learning about the differences
    among your colleagues
  • Appreciate those differencesand
  • Make an effort to interact with these colleagues.

Example Workplace Generation Gap
  • The generations in todays workplace possess
    characteristics that derive , in large part, from
    the political, social and economic climate of
    their youth.
  • We presently have Traditionalists, Baby Boomers,
    Generation Xer and Millennials.

Who they are
  • Traditionalists- Born 1900 to 1945
  • Sometimes referred to as the WW II generation
  • Have worked longer then any of the other
  • Experiences two world wars and the Great
  • Traditionalists are loyal,hardworking,
    financially conservative and faithful to

Baby boomers
  • Born 1946 to 1964
  • When the boomers entered the work force, they
    felt compelled to challenge the status quo
  • They are responsible for the many rights
    opportunities now taken for granted.
  • Because of their large numbers, they faced
    competition from each other for jobs
  • Baby boomers all but invented the 60 hour work
    week, figuring that demonstrated hard work and
    loyalty to employers
  • Their sense of who they are is deeply connected
    to their career achievements.

Generation Xers
  • Technologically savvy, having ushered in the era
    of video games and personal computers during
    their formative years
  • Witnessing skyrocketing divorce rates
  • Their parents being laid off after years of
    dedicated service
  • Challenges to the presidency, organized religion
    and big corporations instilled a sense of
    skepticism and distrust of institutions
  • Because they dont expect employer loyalty,they
    see no problem changing jobs to advance

  • Many are still in school,but the oldest are
    recent college grads just now entering the work
  • Had access to cell phones, pagers, and personal
    computers all their lives
  • Eager to learn question things
  • Theyre confident and have high self-esteem
  • Theyre collaborators and favor teamwork
  • They reject the notion that they have to stay
    within rigid confines of a job description

  • 3 such groups exist today
  • Traditionalist/baby boomers (1940-1945)
  • Baby boomers/generation Xer (1960-1965
  • Generation Xer/millennial (1975-1980)
  • There are those that are wedged between two
  • They can foster understanding between the two
    generations and are often skilled at mediating,
    translating and mentoring.

Be wary of stereotyping Not all traits apply to
all members of a generation
  • Although certain characteristics may be
    attributed to one generation or another, that
    doesnt mean that all people in a particular
    generation exhibit each of that generations
    common characteristics. Avoid stereotyping.

How to bridge the generation gap Steps to Success
  • The formula of success involves three steps
  • 1. Be aware of the differences. Acknowledge that
    everyone is different. Your colleagues unique
    experiences influence their attitudes toward

Steps to success-continued
  • 2. Appreciate the strengths Instead of
    harboring frustration over differences, focus on
    the positive attributes your co-workers possess.
  • 3. Manage the differences effectively Once
    you've acknowledged the differences and taken
    time to consider the strengths of your
    co-workers, find ways to interact with them that
    will be mutually beneficial.

A little understanding,a lot more harmony
  • Respect for generations goes both ways. Younger
    employees can learn to value the experience of
    their older co-workers. Likewise, older workers
    may benefit by embracing the fresh perspectives
    of their younger counterparts.

Finally, a good thing to remember..
  • Any time you find yourself scratching your head
    in disbelief over a colleague, stop and consider
    whether it a diversityfactor is at play. It may
    just provide you with the enlightenment you need
    to successfully manage the situation.

Steps to handling interpersonal differences
  • Can we all get along?

Getting along with your co-workers
( Daniel Robin)
  • Working with people who respect you and who value
    your contributions strongly affects your level of
    job satisfaction. It also improves your ability
    to produce quality work.
  • As you may have experienced, its not always easy
    for co-workers to get along.

How to..
  • Respond to rudeness
  • Dealing with an office bully
  • Handle being undermined

How to respond to rudeness
  • Cool off.
  • Watch your language.
  • Avoid sarcasm
  • Repeat, rephrase and reflect back what you think
    the person is trying to say.
  • If the behavior gets to you and you're angry,
    take a timeout.
  • Confront
  • Calmly explain how the behavior affects you.
  • Youre co-worker may not understand theres a

Rudeness- continued
  • Focus your concern
  • Talk to the person whose behavior is bothering
    you, but NOT to others.
  • If the person in the next cubicle is playing a
    radio too loudly, tell s/he how that affects you.
    I cant hear when Im on the telephone, for
  • Solve the problem
  • Ask your co-worker to work with you to find a
    solution. Can we figure out what to do about
    this? What are your ideas?
  • Look for a mutually agreeable solution.
  • If nothing seems to help, talk with your
    supervisor about the problem. Your supervisor
    cant help you if s/he doesnt know about the

Dealing with the office bully
  • Bullying is a pattern of abusive remarks,
    arbitrary rages or attempts to sabotage a
    persons work.
  • It can happen at work and is hurtful
  • Examples of bullying work behaviors are
  • Talking behind your back
  • Interrupting you when you're speaking or working
  • Flaunting authority or status
  • Acting in a condescending manner

Office bully- continued
  • Belittling your opinions
  • Giving you the silent treatment
  • Insulting you
  • Shouting at you
  • Staring at you
  • Sending you abusive e-mails
  • People often react to the bully by
  • Worrying about a specific incident or future
  • Losing work time by avoiding the bully
  • Being absent or tardy, or leaving early
  • Changing jobs

Office bully- continued
  • What can you do ?
  • Get some support!
  • Practice avoidance, dont be alone with the bully
  • Document the behavior in writing (be specific).
    Include how the behavior impacts your
  • Share this with your supervisor.
  • If your supervisor is the bully, share your
    documentation with the next supervisor in the
    chain of command
  • Check your agencys policies.

Office bully-continued
  • Many employers know the importance of maintaining
    a work environment free of violence, coercion,
    sexual harassment and hostility.
  • Confront the bullyif you are comfortable doing

What to do if youve been undermined
  • When someone is out to make you or your work seem
    inferior, you're being undermined
  • S/he may steal your idea, belittle you in
    meetings, or lie about you to your boss or
  • These behaviors can create an uncomfortable work
  • How to counter these behaviors
  • Gather allies. Respect, appreciate and value your
    co-workers. When the chips are down and someone
    is undermining you, theyll back you up

What to do if youre undermined- continued
  • Build your visibility outside the agency. Speak
    at conference, participate on committees outside
    of the agency, etc.
  • Confront visit the co-worker one-on-one. Calling
    the person on his/her behavior will often stop it.
  • Take the high road. Stand up for your co-workers.
    If you hear negative comment about someone, try
    to counter the negative with a positive truth or
    redirect the conversation.

Tips for building mutual respect
  • Do your part- Co-worker conflict isnt always
    avoidable. From time to time youll have to deal
    with someone who is rude, a bully or someone who
    tries to sabotage your work.
  • By building strong relationships with your
    co-workers, youll each be more ready to practice
    forgiveness and give each other some slack.

Tips for building mutual respect- continued
  • Re-visit tips discussed in the beginning or this
    session..Doing your part.
  • Be positive-Smile, be upbeat and greet everyone
  • Learn to communicate effectively. Make sure you
    understand what your colleagues say to you. Ask
    clarification if youre uncertain.
  • Make sure your colleagues understand what you are
    saying,too.Dont assume they did. Sometimes what
    seems obvious to you isnt obvious to others

Tips for building mutual respect- continued
  • Be a team player. Come to meetings prepared and
    on time. Contribute to, but dont hog, the
  • Think about how others perceive you in the
  • Avoid gossip. If a conversation turns to rumor,
    say youre not comfortable with the discussion
    and excuse yourself
  • Make an effort to resolve conflicts. Talk with
    co-workers in private in a non-threatening
    way.Focus on solutions.

Tips for building mutual respect- continued
  • Be modest. Dont brag or take too much credit.
  • Be pleasant and personable. When communicating
    with co-workers, take the time to add a kind,
    thoughtful touch.
  • Respect confidences. If your co-worker wants the
    entire office to know about a divorce, career
    change, pregnancy, illness or other personal
    matter,s/he will spread the news.
  • Dont spill the beans yourself.

Tips for building mutual respect- continued
  • Avoid harassment. NEVER make suggestive comments
    or tell jokes that make fun of a co-workers
    culture, race or gender.
  • Be courteous. Refill the paper tray. Clean up
    after yourselves. Knock before entering a
    co-workers office.
  • Ask if its a good time to talk before
    interrupting (and that includes if the co-worker
    is in a cubicle).

Tips for building mutual respect- continued
  • And remember
  • Try and find the humor in everything
  • Its the little things that can build strong
    working relationships

The Gentle Art of Confronting
  • What to do when you have a difficult message to
  • Daniel Robin suggests the following
  • First ask yourself Will the situation change if
    I do nothing?
  • If you confront, you might arrive at a win-win
    negotiated solution, a compromise , or no deal.

The Gentle Art of Confronting- Continued
  • First and foremost..Resolve a conflict as soon as
    it starts.
  • Experts agree that you shouldnt wait for a
    disagreement to become so entrenched that neither
    of you has the capacity or desire to resolve it.
  • If an initial discussion cant clear up the
    problem, consider asking a co-worker to help
    mediate at a subsequent meeting. This is a good
    place to use the older employer,

Confronting- continued
  • Seek to understand the reasons for the
    disagreement, then use them to develop a
    conflict-resolution strategy.
  • You may need advice from others during this
    process, but simple reflection and analyses can
    often supply the insight you need about why you
    cannot get along with someone.
  • IF that doesnt help , try to freeze- frame
    an instance of your conflict. Visualize the
    situation as it really happened rather than how
    your ego wants you to remember it. This can help
    you to diagnose your part in the conflict as well
    as the other persons.

Confronting- continued
  • Practice resolving the conflict by imagining a
    simple attempt at reconciliation.
  • Act out both sides. Anticipate the other persons
    response and practice your replies.
  • You can also ask a friend to role play as the
    other person until your feel more comfortable
    with initiating an actual meeting.
  • When meeting with your co-worker, keep your
    emotions in check and operate from a rational,
    unemotional place.
  • Showing anger and other negative emotions can
    cause the disagreement to erupt and become more
    difficult to resolve.

Confrontation- continued
  • Stay somewhat removed and in control of your
    emotions by focusing on your goal of resolving
    the conflict rather than on the other persons
    possibly offensive or troubling remarks.
  • Known as distancing, this technique enables you
    to communicate calmly, so that you can deal
    unemotionally with statements that normally would
    make you angry.

Confrontation- continued
  • Never assume that the other person doesnt want
    to resolve the disagreement.
  • The conflict is probably taking the same
    psychological toll on him or her that its having
    on you
  • Understand the personal and organizational
    benefits of turning an enemy into an ally.
  • Think of the combined strength your employer or
    consumers will gain when two competent people
    devote their energies to their work, not battles.

Confrontation- continued
  • Recognize there is no payoff for conflict.
    Becoming united also can increase your job
    security and stability, both assets in an era of
    downsizing, mergers, and layoffs.
  • If these tactics fail, find ways to avoid those
    you clash with.
  • Staying away from people you dont get along with
    can help you minimize conflicts and remain
    objective enough to maintain a decent working
  • This may require a job change or transfer to
    another department or departure.

Confrontation- continued
  • If conflict seems to follow you wherever you go,
    consider seeking professional assistance.
  • Prior behavior is the best predictor of future
    behavior. Conflict in one or more positions
    suggests that it will resurface no matter how
    many changes you make.
  • Finally, succeeding in your career means knowing
    how to resolve serious disagreements and
    personality clashes. Your future may be
    determined by how you resolve conflicts and
    having strong allies who can support you in tough

The End