Wednesday, April 5, 2017

4 Ways to Stop Being the Office Doormat

One complaint I hear fairly often is from those who feel they are not appreciated at work. These workers often feel that they've become human doormats, with colleagues and bosses treating them as if what they do doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.


Everyone's job matters. If you put together boxes, that's important. Without those boxes, products could not be delivered and people might miss out on getting important medicines or critical parts for a project. It matters if you sort mail or drive a truck or  make jet engines. Everyone's job is part of the life cycle of an organization. Without your efforts, organizations would begin to unravel.

That's key to remember because I think when we treat our jobs as "less than," we set ourselves up as doormats. If you want to be treated with respect, if you want to be appreciated for the job you do -- then respect yourself and appreciate that what you do really does matter.

If you feel like it's time you became more respected and appreciated, then you need to:

  • Show some class. Dig out those manners you learned from your mama or aunties and start saying "please" and "thank you." Address new people you meet as "Mr." or "Ms." unless you are told to do differently. Stand up tall, shoulders back. Make sure you're well groomed, look people in the eye and smile when greeting them. Politeness sends the cue that you have respect for yourself and others -- and can influence others to show you the same attitude.
  •  Don't show favoritism. Your politeness should know no bounds. You need to demonstrate the same level of professionalism to the person who empties wastebaskets as you do to the CEO. If you want to stop being treated like a doormat, then don't do it to anyone else.
  • Stand out. To get others to truly notice you and not see you as background scenery, think of ways to stand apart from others. When someone approaches you, put away your phone or turn away from your work. Be completely engaged when the person is talking, and wait until he or she is finished before summarizing what was said. Offering someone your undivided attention -- in this time of distractions -- will definitely set you apart. 
  • Stay positive. Workplace research shows that incivility from the political arena is carrying over into the workplace. Don't be the person who launches into political diatribes or seems to find the negative in every daily occurrence. You don't have to lie or be unrealistic, but you can be the person who tries to find something uplifting or even funny to share every day. (Make sure all your humor is G-rated.) Even a big smile every day with a genuine "It's good to see you!" can make others really see you and appreciate you.
What are some other ways to garner more respect on the job?

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