7 Ways to be Different at Work Instead of Just Another Jerk
By: Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC
It’s easy to be a jerk at work. When something doesn’t get done the way it should because it’s late, incomplete, or missing essential details, it’s easy to get upset and fly off the handle. After all, you have invested your valuable time, energy and effort only to be left with sub-standard work from your co-workers. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and you are entitled to be frustrated.
So you become more ‘jerky’ with each disappointment only to wake up one day and realize that you have become something you don’t really like. There is a better way to handle things at work that can produce excellent results without compromising your standards.
Be Patient. Promotions, projects, and promises don’t happen overnight so be patient for your opportunities to shine. Don’t be so eager to do everything that you miss the chance to do one thing exceptionally well.
Be Kind. Too often kindness is reserved only for clients and not for co-workers or vendors. Kindness is a lost art form in our culture and therefore is a noticeable commodity in your workplace. Showing kindness to those around you requires little effort but reaps great rewards.
Don’t Boast. Tooting your own horn might get you noticed quickly but it is short-lived and builds resentment from your co-workers. Rather seek opportunities to compliment others and boast about your co-workers instead of tearing them down.
Be Negotiable. If you constantly insist on getting your way, you will wear out your co-workers and they will be less likely to bring new and valuable ideas to the table. Listen to the ideas of others and find ways to incorporate them into your ideas. Two heads are truly better than one.
Be Even-tempered. Consistency in your attitude and behavior is an asset. If your clients can expect a smile and warm greeting despite any frustrations then it will be easier to negotiate any deal. Your co-workers likewise should be able to count on a similar attitude and behavior.
Don’t Give Up. The toughest of circumstances can only be resolved with a never-give-up attitude. This does not mean that you don’t choose to walk away from a bad deal or an unproductive co-worker but it does mean that you don’t give up on making new deals or training new employees.
Be Hopeful. It might be hard to be hopeful when difficult situations at your office seem to stay the same or even get worse. Being hopeful might even seem like you are being unrealistic, however if you plan for the worst and hope for the best, your attitude will be infectious and could just be the spark that is needed in your office.
Each of these is not a one-time fix; rather it requires you to consistently practice each one. You may need to pick one idea a week and try it on before moving on to the next idea instead of trying to do everything all at once. This will allow the change to be more permanent and in the end, you will revert to being the person that you want to be instead of the jerk that you became.