Work is your second home; it is where you spend the better part of your day, week, month. It is where your dreams take shape, your career takes a wing, you learn and grow. Your workplace also has all the ingredients to test your temper when you are in the thick of things.
Here are five ways to harness that fraying temper without breaching office rules, losing focus of your daily goals and making enemies out of co-workers:
Guard your fort
Sharing your things is not wrong. But when you don’t find what you need at a critical moment at your desk it is when you lose it. To avoid this, be clear with your boundaries at work. Make sure no-one snatches anything from your workspace without your permission. Even if it is a pin-head or a file or the phone charger, ask is the rule you follow and make others abide by it religiously. Also insist they return it, in good form once their work is done. Leave your organizers and desk drawers safely locked before you leave your desk. This goes a long way in avoiding those deadline-fuelled, momentary meltdowns.
Show, don’t tell!
Behind every successful office worker is a menacing bully. It could be your competition or your boss. Believe me, bullies are your friends. Seriously. They make you reach greater heights in your career. But only if you take things the right way. Always use the stress and the push to perform more and get the best out of you. Do what you can and more. But keep all your efforts to yourself. Do not speak loud about it for it could make your bullies plot more and go against you. Just bank on your self-esteem and keep working. Well, when you crack the challenge, it is there for them and everyone to see. Right?
Tame the disruptions (and the distractors)
Shouting neighbour? Speakerphone converser? Frequent snacker? Impulsive singer? Loud ideator?
You’ve got at least one such type of co-worker in your office. They distract you, abruptly hack the thought process, let your creativity run dry or disrupt a mind-boggling data curation. They unleash the monster in you. But the best way to deal with them is to tell them. Take them to the cafeteria, sit them down and explain how the loudness is affecting you, without making them as the target of the issue. Talk more about how each can be helpful and supportive to the other and how the small work world could be his, yours and others’ haven.
Be clear with all your commands and directions. Discuss your approach with whoever it concerns. If it is a large team you are dealing with, chances are you may encounter dead-ends, goof-ups and glitches. This could happen when the timeline for an important report is hanging above your head and nothing but frustration fills each of your cells. Even if it is team work, avoid communicating through Whatsapp groups and social media. Always send clear, concise emails marking everyone in the recipient list so that there is neither a gap nor misunderstanding. The email could also keep you tethered to the job at hand and avoid miss-outs later.
Be the Buddha
While it is important to have fun with colleagues and be a part of the grapevine, diplomacy is the only way to take you out of those futuristic sticky situations. Be a well-wisher but do not reveal the weaknesses of others. Do not plot or suggest plotting. Be the guide you are assigned to be but if you are back-stabbed or side-stepped and feel subordinated, have your own ways to calm yourself down. Stare at the Mandala image or family picture in front of you; remember the Zen philosophy you read; work on a crossword, count backwards from 1 to 100; do a kriya. Then do what you must to get out of the mess.
Getting angry at work is a common every day happening. But if you let your anger get ahead of you, it could grow a bed of thorns in your career growth. So, follow these steps and navigate the path with dignity and elegance. If you feel disempowered, a trained life coach can help you tackle these interpersonal issues in the right way.
Vijayalakshmi Sridhar’s stories explore human relationships and their dynamics. She is enjoying her journey as a writer of fiction and features.