Dial Down Mistrust in the Office

Are you still in shock by reports of Wall Street failures and bailouts? Do you ever relate the performance of these firms to Terrible Office Tyrants or TOTs in your company? If you do you’re not alone. Apparently, a bad boss can go under the radar just like global conglomerates until it’s too late.

According to 86% of U.S. adults in a recent independent national survey we commissioned, public failures of large companies are viewed as similar to the much less conspicuous actions of bosses who make poor decisions every day. Both can leave a wake of damage behind them – and no one is aware of it until disaster strikes. (Unlike toddlers, though, the office TOT leaves no juice or chocolate stains to for the CEO to discover!) Unfortunately, sometimes you feel that if you push back on a decision or idea, you may be pushed out!)

Don’t allow these frustrating office situations to ruin your day or your career. If you become catalyst for positive change, you’ll do your part to dial down the mistrust meter. Fine-tune your skills in managing up before things get out of hand. This will not only reduce your stress level. It may be the most strategic career move of your life.

Like so many aspects of achieving success, maintaining an objective, healthy perspective and being proactive can make all the difference. Here are some simple workplace strategies to manage counter-productive office politics:

Provide your managers with highly specific input: Your views matter and may be the “missing piece in the puzzle” that can help your company make better, more informed decisions. You’d be surprised how often your solutions are welcome, and even if one out of five are workable, they will be greatly appreciated. After all, you’re making your boss’s job easier if you have answers.

Don’t allow negativity to devour you: Despite the prevalent “sky is falling” mood in corporate America, keep your eye on the prize with regard to your career and opportunities. When things are in flux, chances for advancement can unfold before you at any time – if you allow them to – and believe it or not, that demeanor will be contagious to your boss.

Make tough times work in your favor: Make it clear your co-workers and your team that you’re a reliable, solutions-oriented person. Read my Managing Up tips under New/Articles, to find out more about how to effect change through diplomacy and problem solving.

Everyone can agree that this is an unusual and very challenging period of our history. But keep in mind that while you can’t control how Wall Street or the economy affects your company, you can help create more positive energy around you. Remember to make skillful communication, problem solving, and peace making a daily goal. Your efforts will reap innumerable benefits now, but especially when the uptick returns!