Bullies In the Office

I have had three true bullies in my career – all women. Each situation was different, and each woman was a bully for different reasons and in different ways.  Only one of them was my direct manager.  All made my life miserable and difficult despite my attempts at trying to make things better – part of my job as Project Manager and part of my personality.  Despite every Lifetime movie showing that bullies can be ‘turned around’ – that’s not true for the office where you have no insight into their personal world where the damage is being created.  Forgive me my HR friends, there’s nothing you have done in any of these situations – for the same reason.

Bullying is one of those toxic situations with no way out – like narcissism.  So, what DO you do?  The internet is filled with tactics to help you survive.  But, I think the real answer lies in looking in the mirror and deciding what you want to do with your life. Forget the bully – What is in your best interest?  Do you like what you’re doing? My guess, what you want to do is hard to do.  There are kids, spouses, money, or knowledge in the way.   Most likely there’s fear too.  Change is scary, but change is our only option.

Twins looked at each other in the womb and say “It’s so scary out there.  It doesn’t matter that I can barely move – it’s safe here.”

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

 

Team Building Exercises – Worth It? Yes AND No

Team Building Exercise

Depending on the exercise, you might be learning a lot about communication – unless your boss is the competitive type then it’s all about who wins.  All work on communication is awesome – regardless the venue.  This environment can break down barriers that your team members have been experiencing -which is always a good thing!

Now, you’re back in the office – can you apply what you just learned?  If you and your team were struggling only with working together, most likely you can.  However, there’s a lot more going on within your team than human interaction.  You also have expectations, the need for good automation, processes, and external communication that creates stress on your team.   

Managers who see these team building exercises as ‘fix-it events’ will not get what they want.  These exercises don’t ‘build teams’ – they build (hopefully) fun memories and relationship bonds that people can fall back on when times get tough.  Use team building events as rewards only.

If your team is not on the Same Road, at the Same Time, and going in the Same Direction on a regular basis – ask for help.

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

 

#teamwork, #teambuildingevents, #FabricofTeamwork

An Honest Conversation about Trust

Trust – it means relying on your teammate to do what they said they were going to do.  Well, there wouldn’t be a huge project management industry if everyone did what they said they were going to do.  Sports teams wouldn’t practice for 1000’s of hours if it was easy to create trust.

Trust is crucial in a marriage, required (but repairable) in a friendship, but it’s really non-existent in the office.  Look over at your team mate – do you trust them with your job? Would they trust you with their job?  At best, we trust but verify – that really means we don’t trust at all.  Quite frankly, there’s too much riding on the task/project/effort – your next performance review, your raise, your promotion.  Everyone has their own agenda and without clear communication, each person creates their own priorities out of the tasks in front of them. Don’t even get me started on the trust fall….

Let’s focus instead on how we interact with each other.  Let’s focus on improving our communication skills – upward, downward and lateral.  Let’s focus on asking for what we need out of our systems instead of being stuck with ‘it’s what we always do’.  Let’s focus on expectations and processes – are they appropriate? Speak up if they’re not so you can figure out solutions collaboratively.

Trust is created slowly and only through intention.  Truly great teams have earned the trust between them – be that team! Or ask how you can become one!

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful