Jeal­ousy at work

Pro­fes­sional jeal­ousy hurts work­place re­la­tion­ships.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ENVIRONMENT -

Pro­fes­sional jeal­ousy hurts work­place re­la­tion­ships.

OULD you like a pro­mo­tion at work? If so, look around to see if some­one is block­ing your progress.

You know how this goes. You’re the prime can­di­date for a pro­mo­tion, but you sense that some­one is go­ing to flub things up.

This per­son will ca­su­ally tell the boss that you hate fly­ing. This pho­bia, the boss will as­sess, might in­ter­fere with meet­ings you’ll be re­quired to at­tend over­seas.

Or, Mr Jeal­ousy might ask you if you have trou­ble get­ting your al­lergy med­i­ca­tions through an air­port. He asks this in front of a room full of peo­ple.

Back­stab­bers live in al­most ev­ery work set­ting. To over­come sab­o­tage, which is likely to hap­pen if you’re good at your job, you’ve got to be clever. You’ve got to speak up early on. These tips can help:

> Talk pri­vately with your boss. Sit down with some­one who can doc­u­ment the jeal­ousy is­sues. State your con­cerns clearly.

> Act out benev­o­lent be­hav­iours. Let co-work­ers know you are a team player. They’ll get the true pic­ture of what’s go­ing on.

> Treat the jeal­ous per­son with kind­ness. Even if ev­ery­one knows you’re un­happy about the jeal­ousy, try to act civil to­ward this per­son. Out­class him or her.

It’s em­bar­rass­ing to ad­mit to other peo­ple that a co-worker could be jeal­ous. Af­ter all, isn’t that brag­ging on your­self?

“Telling on a jeal­ous per­son can be stated an­other way,” says an HR man­ager we’ll call Peggy. “For years, I’ve called this iden­ti­fy­ing some­one who doesn’t live by the Golden Rule.”

Peggy says that peo­ple with low self-es­teem of­ten try to back­stab other peo­ple. But, any­thing you do to raise some­one’s self­es­teem will sim­ply back­fire, says

WPeggy. These peo­ple read you a lot bet­ter than you think.

“You can’t raise some­one’s self­es­teem,” she points out. “The more you try to do for this type of per­son, the worse it gets. If you don’t have author­ity over that per­son, avoid­ing him or her is the best way to cope.”

Peggy of­fers these tips to su­per­vi­sors of such peo­ple:

> Ask the jeal­ous per­son for his opin­ion. Talk to him of­ten to gain in­sight into what both­ers him. This dif­fuses anger he might act out on co-work­ers. > Give this per­son spe­cific tasks. Keep her busy do­ing on­line re­search that is im­por­tant for a big project. Steer him away from serv­ing on com­mit­tees or group ac­tiv­i­ties.

> Find this per­son’s strong points. Make sure the whole depart­ment un­der­stands what this per­son does well. It can’t hurt to brag, if the state­ments are true.

“I once man­aged a back­stab­ber for 15 years,” says a man­ager we’ll call Dou­glas. “I kept her busy. I helped her fo­cus her tal­ents on what she did well. I swear, this woman worked so hard, our depart­ment tripled its sales.”

Dou­glas says he fig­ured out early on that this woman was not ori­ented to lik­ing peo­ple. She has real trou­ble trust­ing any­one, Dou­glas points out.

Peo­ple with these types of per­son­al­i­ties of­ten do great at get­ting ac­tual tasks ac­com­plished, though. They pour ev­ery­thing into pride­ful work.

“Keep them do­ing one im­por­tant task af­ter an­other,” says Dou­glas. “They will amaze you with their ded­i­ca­tion.”

He goes on to say that let­ting these types of work­ers hurt cowork­ers will cost a com­pany money-wise.

“Quite frankly, jeal­ous work­ers will run off your good em­ploy­ees,” says Dou­glas.

“If an em­ployee tells you an­other em­ployee is try­ing to cause prob­lems, be­lieve this per­son. Don’t hide your head in the sand. Just change your tac­tics.” – McClatchy-Tribune News Ser­vice ■ Judi Hop­son and Emma Hop­son are au­thors of a stress man­age­ment book for paramedics, fire­fight­ers and po­lice called Burnout To­Bal­ance:EMSStress. Ted Ha­gen is a fam­ily psy­chol­o­gist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.