Defusing the 5 Trickiest Workplace Situations
Jeff Hindenach | GovCentral
May 26, 2010
You’re in Trouble for Messing Up
When you make a mistake at work, you may feel incompetent or not worthy of the position. But try to remember that everyone makes mistakes, especially on the job. Trying to cover up those errors only makes things worse. When you make a mistake, own up to it right away. Apologize to your boss and calmly explain what happened and how you will learn from it. Not only does it show maturity, it makes you look responsible, honest, and open to learning new things.
Bordering on Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is never ok in the workplace, but what about those situations when you aren’t sure yourself if a situation is really harassment or not? The best thing to do is to talk calmly with the person who’s bothering you and ask them to stop the behavior that is making you uncomfortable. If it continues, talk to your supervisor. If they do nothing, or if the harasser is your supervisor, it’s time to go to HR. It may be an uncomfortable situation, but it’s better than being harassed day in and day out.
Someone Is Trash Talking About You to Everyone
With the incredible stress levels in some workplaces, emotions can easily run high. Words fly and sometimes we say things we don’t mean. But a tense situation doesn’t need to escalate into an all-out war. When you feel insulted, don’t get upset! Calmly approach the person who is trash talking you and ask them politely to talk through the problem. If they refuse, explain that trash talking is a form of workplace harassment, and if you can’t work it out, you’ll have to approach HR about the situation. Be as diplomatic as possible — there’s no need to upset your coworker even more.
The office can be a difficult environment to navigate, but as long as you keep calm and stay diplomatic, you should be able to defuse any uncomfortable situation.