Office Conduct – Are You a Team Player?

Every employer is looking for that perfect candidate offering impeccable work ethics. So, how do you rate? Ask yourself these simple questions to see if you are a team player.

Tact. Tact is defined as: quick or intuitive appreciation of what is fit, proper or right; fine or ready mental discernment shown in saying or doing the proper thing, or especially in avoiding what would offend or disturb (1). In other words, are you able to give or receive criticism in a non-threatening way? Can you stand up for yourself without going berserk? Are you polite and professional no matter what? A little bit of tact goes a long way!

Etiquette. Are you aware of the differences between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors? Such as, would you go to an office party and intentionally have too much to drink? To you adhere to the “never mix business with pleasure” adage? Proper etiquette in the office shows your loyalty and respect to the company and its employers, and it never goes unnoticed!

Anger management. Is your first reaction anger? Simple things like simple miscommunications and job incompetence can lead to anger, but is it ever okay to show how disgruntled you actually are?

Mobilize productivity. Do you come to work to work? Can you ignore coworker’s lackadaisical attitude? Are you motivated to get the job done?

And, while there are many attributes employers look for, adhering to these simple goals allows you a certain edge. Don’t let a little anger get in the way of professional growth – or a small indiscretion mean the difference between gainfully employed and unemployed!

Yet, work-related stress can wreak havoc on your life. In order to gain control, you must learn other coping strategies to manage job stress.

Manage Stress
1.Focus on your breathing. When things spiral out of control, take a few minutes to concentrate on your breathing. Sometimes a few deep breaths or a “ten-count” can put things in perspective- or at least calm you enough so you won’t end up saying something you’ll regret later!

2.Prepare a plan. Make sure you are aware of involved components of your next assignment, and take a few minutes to plan it out to avoid last minute hair pulling and indigestion. Let your boss know of any problems as they arrive, before they escalate into huge ones!

3.Seek assistance. Everyone needs a little help now and again. Know your limits. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss for some clarification – this ensures the work will be done correctly. Don’t be shy about asking for some assistance – whether it’s delegating some responsibility or bringing in extra hands. You may not always get what you need, but at least if there’s a problem down the line, it won’t come as a shock. (But, be careful with this one – if you always need help, perhaps that’s telling your employer you are not qualified!)

4.Enjoy a good laugh. Start a joke-of-the-day club for a little comic relief.

5.Take a break. Make sure you get a change of scenery during breaks. Go for a walk around the building – get some fresh air. Eating behind your desk is sometimes necessary, but not recommended – everyone needs a break now and again!

6.Take vacation. Have vacation time piled up? Use it! No vacation? Try a long weekend or even an afternoon off. Time away from the office can do wonders for boosting morale and productivity!

Knowing the written (and unwritten) rules of conduct at the office is essential for success – both personally and professionally. Learning how to manage the rules makes you the team player employers strive for!

(1) New Comprehensive International Dictionary of the English Language; Funk & Wagnalls; 1982

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