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Being nice or accommodating is no longer in vogue particularly in the workplace. Seriously, if you have burnt your fingers in a conflict and held out an olive branch afterwards for the sheer fear of being branded ''controversial,'' the time has come to face the truth. By avoiding conflicts, you are giving out a clear signal that you are a victim.
Your silence helps you build relationships that are neither authentic nor constructive. Your health and self-esteem suffer and the organization's interests are compromised as you make peace with troublemakers in your path. You lose the diversity of thought that is critical for innovation and simply stop producing the best solutions that you were known for.
If you look back at some point in your life or career, you would have gotten embroiled in a controversy, felt shamed or criticized. As a result, we often decide to be accommodating rather than relive the unpleasantness. We choose safety, peace and harmony over speaking up.
When in such a situation, it is best to shed fear about others' perceptions about you. You have been hired to deliver results not to win a popularity contest. Do not be afraid of speaking up or calling a spade a spade. In the workplace, it is not about you or your image, it is your performance and how it affects the profitability of the company that is under the scanner.
Focus on what the business needs. When you avoid conflicts, you are actually putting the focus squarely on yourself. The business requires that you and your colleagues join hands to make a project successful. Make it clear that what you are doing is for the greater interest of the company.
Keep a calm demeanor, overcome the temptation to be aggressive, overbearing or disrespectful. Instead, be non-judgmental, approachable and concentrate on your business goals. Embrace conflict when it arises instead of dreading it, and you will see that you have taken your first baby step towards your goal.
• Focus on the business needs and don't dread conflict
• Speak up to make your position clear with a calm demeanor
• Being nice will affect your performance at the workplace
Learn how to warm up to enemies in the workplace
Source: Debasree Banerjee, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is Corporate Communications Manager, Blue Ocean Academy, Dubai