How to act professional when things start getting personal

This is one of those situations where it is easy to say and hard to do. Most of us, at one time or another have been the centre of the office gossip! It is infuriating, especially if the subject of the gossip is completely wrong or malicious. You want to stand up for yourself, but as soon as you join in you become part of the problem.

See if any of the below tips could help you in this situations:

RISE ABOVE IT

Do not, I repeat, do not stoop to the level of those making things personal. Ignore the muttering voices, the sideways looks and the giggling. Do not register it, ignore it, you are better than that. Remember that you are not in the playground and this is workplace bullying; HR will be able to deal with this for you in a professional way and offer you support and coping tactics. Reality is most of us will avoid approaching HR, alternatively why not speak to a senior manager and ask for advise on how to handle the matter.

IT WON’T LAST FORVER

Sometimes it feels like things can last forever, but as with most things time is a healer and most things blow over quickly. Generally two weeks is the length of time it takes for office gossip to move on and even though it may feel longer, most things will soon pass. Bide your time, remain calm and most things will resolve themselves.

HANDLE THE CRITICISM

When people give you criticism in the workplace it can sometimes feel like a personal attack, especially if it is not asked for. Keep calm and listen carefully to what is being said. Most constructive criticism is kindly meant and when taken on board is actually very good for your career progression, so try to take it on board. If the criticism is personal, i.e. about the way you look, then this is not okay and you should kindly let the individuals know that it is not necessary. Last resort, send HR an email , make it a formal complaint.

ARE YOU THE INSTIGATOR?

As well as being on the receiving end, you can also end up as the instigator; if someone has wronged or hurt you then it is personal. But if you are active in bringing it out into the open in an unporffesinal way, then you end up looking like the fool. Don’t blow your top and make wild accusations, stay calm and take 10 minutes to think about what you want to say to someone. Keep accusations away and clearly tell them what has upset you, most people will thank you for keeping so calm and trying to resolve conflicts peacefully.

Have you had any experiences of personal points in a professional environment? How did you cope?

Catherine
Catherine

Catherine works in international marketing and events, she has a passion for sharing her knowledge to help others in their career. A keen traveler she has lived in New Zealand, China and England, and explored a lot more of the world; Catherine describes herself as a cup half full and embraces her busy life at 100mph.

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