It’s been quite some time since I actually worked in an office, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. The room layout, the florescent lights, my cubicle partners, the weekly birthday celebrations complete with sheet cakes and balloons. Although I have been an entrepreneur for over 10 years, I have fond memories of my work experience and I wouldn’t change a moment of it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always rosy; in fact, I was fired from my first real job.
Boy was that a painful experience! Fresh out of college and working for Capitol Records as an assistant in the International Marketing Department, I was going to weekly concerts, meeting recording artists and having the time of my life. That was the fun part. The work part was a little more difficult. My assistant skills were slim at best and I had a female boss who was less than friendly. Everything I did was wrong and she was always correcting me. The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was when I went over my boss’ head to her superior to ask special permission for something that she said no to. Needless to say, it did not end well. I did, however, learn a valuable lesson that has stuck with me to this day and that is to be deferential to your superiors, especially your immediate boss!
Why am I telling you this story? Because even though I got fired in the end, I realized that I truly enjoyed working! I liked dressing for work, I appreciated interacting with my co-workers, I relished in meeting the clients and I appreciated the sense of accomplishment I felt at the end of the day. Sound familiar? For many people, this is not the tune they sing. Theirs is more of a solemn tune of drudgery filled with sayings that start with “Ugh, do I have to go to work today?” or “Is tomorrow really Monday? I think I’ll call in sick.”
Since we spend so many of our waking hours at the office, it behooves us to invest a little more effort into putting on a shiny, happy face for work. It can be your greatest asset! A good attitude is integral to any office environment whether it consists of 2 workers or 200. Turning a negative attitude into a positive one can help you make the most of your workday. Here are a few workplace etiquette tips we hope will help keep things peaceful and positive in your work environment.
Wrap Up Your Troubles
Pack up your troubles in a nice box, wrap them with a bow and set the imaginary package on a shelf in your home. Everyone has a certain amount of stress that they can’t seem to shake. The daily pressures of living in today’s world can bring about a whole host of physical and mental problems that can cause loss of concentration, scattered thoughts and general lack of focus at work. The act of putting our troubles away before we leave the house frees us of that heavy weight and allows for a much more positive atmosphere at work.
Make A Conscious Effort
The word “work” may conjure up images that are less than desirable, but they don’t have to be debilitating. If we take on the mindset of putting 100% effort into our performance at work, the day will automatically go more smoothly. Get in the habit of displaying impeccable work habits, arriving on time, working to your full potential and staying focused and you will be surprised at the great things you can achieve.
Give Co-workers Their Space
There’s been a great deal of talk about cubicle etiquette and allowing our colleagues their space even if they are not surrounded by four walls. This is an important point that many do not take into consideration and can raise the tension level at work. So be considerate of your co-worker and (a) don’t enter another person’s cubicle unless you are invited, (b) refrain from interrupting a person who is on the phone, (c) be mindful of conducting loud conversations, and (d) avoid applying strong perfumes and eating pungent foods. Bear in mind that your cubicle is a direct reflection of you. Keep it neat and orderly and be respectful of others.
Be A Team Player
As the saying goes, there is no “I” in team. When you arrive at work, it is much easier to be cooperative, kind and patient towards others than it is to remain solitary. Support your colleagues by asking their input and valuing their remarks. Be a problem solver by offering to assist wherever help is needed. Refrain from gossip or slander and keep private matters confidential. Act as a source of encouragement to everyone and pay deference to your superiors. These characteristics will not only classify you as a dependable worker, but they may also result in greater opportunities for advancement.
Guarantee Job Security
A bad attitude can lead to permanent repercussions. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, one cannot afford to be branded as difficult or sensitive. If there is a particular struggle at work, nip it in the bud by giving others the benefit of the doubt or letting things roll off your shoulders once in a while. Taking steps to improve your disposition will lead to a much more positive outcome and make you a valuable asset rather than a disposable liability.
Now, we know it is virtually impossible to be the happy, peppy face of positivity all the time. At one point or other, you are bound to hit a wall at work. When this happens, acknowledge it, take a few deep breaths and remember you have the power within you to turn it around. If all else fails, put on a smile and fake it till you make it. Eventually, you will lighten up and all will be well again.
Beverly Hills Manners’ CEO, Lisa Gaché, is one of the foremost etiquette, manners and life skills experts. Her educational and entertainment company, founded in 2006, is recognized for its new school approach. Lisa has appeared in the media and contributed to various outlets, including CNN, NPR, “The Today Show,” KTLA-TV, Radio Disney, Woman’s Day, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post and The New York Daily News. Her contributions to blogs and websites range from the Los Angeles Times, AOL, The Huffington Post and Weddzilla. Gaché has also been a guest expert on number of reality shows including VH1’s “Charm School” and Discovery Channel’s “Living with Ed.”November 14, 2011