“Excuse me, I’m talking.”How to Avoid Being Perceived as Rude

ID-100246937If you’re in a political debate, you may be able to get away with being abrupt, but not in the workplace.  The perception that you are rude can bring your career to a screeching halt.  If you have found in the past that your behaviour is sometimes misconstrued as rudeness, here are some tips that will help you fix that problem:

Be aware.  Just being mindful of your interactions with others can help you manage them better.  Pay attention to what you are saying and imagine how it may be perceived by the people around you.

Pay attention to your body language.  If you look for it, you will find that most people give you a lot of nonverbal clues about how they are feeling.  Watch for facial expressions and body language while you are talking to people.  Are they smiling and nodding or are they avoiding eye contact and turning away from you?  If you are watching, you should be able to know through their body language if you have offended someone.

Get feedback.  Try to find somebody you can trust that will tell you how you are being perceived by others.  Ask this person to tell you if they see you saying something that could be seen as rude.  Sometimes a small adjustment in the way that you speak to people can make a huge difference in the way that they feel about you.

Apologize immediately.  We all step over the line sometimes and when we do, it is best to apologize quickly.  Most people are completely willing to forgive an abrupt comment if you acknowledge it and apologize.

Navigating the politics of any workplace is not easy.  If you rub your coworkers the wrong way it will make it difficult for you to succeed.  The good news is that most people just want to be treated with respect.  Be courteous to each person you encounter and you shouldn’t have a problem.

(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

“FIGHT!” Learning the Dance Steps of Workplace Conflict

No matter how much you try to avoid it, at some point you will find yourself in a workplace conflict. If you are unprepared and handle the conflict poorly, it could cost you professional relationships and even your job. If you handle it well, it could be viewed as an example of your strong leadership and communication skills. Learning how to effectively handle workplace conflicts is well worth your time.

Rule #1: Don’t let the conflict get personal. Keep the conflict focused on the challenges of the position and the organization. Don’t attack anybody personally and refrain from getting emotional.

Rule #2: Don’t try to get other people on your side. This behaviour is unprofessional and can make a conflict more complicated and difficult to resolve. Keep the conflict limited to those who are directly involved.

Rule #3: Focus on maintaining the relationship. Even when conflicts are handled professionally, they can still cause strain on a relationship. Minimize this by demonstrating in your actions and communication that preserving the relationship is important to you.

Rule #4: Know when it is time to escalate. You should escalate conflict situations as a last resort. Only escalate the situation if you have done everything in your power to solve the conflict and the conflict is causing harm to the organization. When escalating the conflict, be as transparent as possible. Let the other party know that you are planning to escalate and invite them to be a part of the process.

Workplace conflicts can be challenging and emotionally draining, but since many people do not know how to handle them, it is an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo from: anankkml/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)