Bad Behaviors in the Workplace

As a career coach/strategist, I work with clients who are at all phases in their careers.  I often work with clients who are feeling stressed and are having difficulty in dealing with bad behaviors they are exposed to in their workplace.  Here are a few of the stories I hear:

  • Client A t works in a department that has no real defined leadership so some of the workers are in-fighting for power; the result, nothing gets done
  • Client B  has to deal with a boss who has “mood swings” – one hour they are nice while the next they are cold and demanding
  • Client C is a new manager at a mid-size company but is given no clear expectations for results of projects they are given, only told to “get it done”

I could go on and on.  It seems that bad behaviors in the workplace have become the norm as opposed to the exception.  If you are feeling unfairly treated or exposed to bad behaviors, you don’t have to sit in silent suffering.  Obviously, you have  choice to stay or go.  If you don’t feel as if you can leave, then make the decision to be emotionally intelligent (EI) – control your feelings and that of others by altering how you react when you encounter these types of situations.  Determine the thoughts and feelings you have – anger, frustration, stress, anxiety, disrespect, etc. and then look at the situation to see what you can do to not take the situation personally.  It’s as if you are looking at it from the other person’s viewpoint which can help you to be more understanding and less reactive.

Practicing EI will give you more ownership of your feelings and help you to take other’s words and actions less personally.  Be sure to look at your own behaviors to ensure that you are not behaving badly yourself and learn to practice self-care when you are away from work, such as by exercising, reading, practicing mediation or yoga, or journaling to give yourself the energy to be your best at work.


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