Monday, May 23, 2022

What To Do If You're Insulted at Work


As many workers head back into the office, there will be some good times -- seeing likeable colleagues in person, going out to lunch with a work friend and even getting out of the house for a change.

But there are bound to be bad days. The commute is too long and someone in the office is microwaving fish sticks. And -- here's something no one misses -- you are the target of a barbed comment.

It may be a subtle insult such as "Oh, it's nice to see you gain! You never used video on Zoom calls so I always figured you were watching TV the whole time!" Or, "Now you have to work for real and won't be 'unavailable' because you're napping with your cat!"

These kinds of comments may be said with a sort of "ha, ha, isn't that funny" attitude, but no one wants to be insulted at work.

There are a couple of things you can do:

1. Laugh it off.

2. Say, "What are you accusing me of?" or "Are you insulting me?" or "What did you mean by that?"

3. Calmly say, "I know it's not your intent, but those comments are hurtful and make me feel like you don't value me or what I contribute."

4, Ignore it.

Keep in mind that everyone's "people skills" are going to be a bit rusty as we gather again in person. You may want to give the insulter a "grace period" to regain some manners and behave better. If it continues, however, it may be worth a private conversation with the person to state how the comments make you feel. Remember, however, that such conversations can be difficult and may result in more hard feelings if you are confrontational and not conversational. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Why It's Time to Onboard Your Entire Team

 As workers return to the workplace in dribs and drabs, some feel a bit disoriented.

Gone are the days of working at the kitchen table or taking the dog for a walk in between Zoom calls. Gone are the days of wearing slippers all day or doing the laundry while working.

In addition, many workers claim they've lost that "human" connection, despite working via Zoom or other online channels. Even when they return to the office, people separate into their own spaces and only interact online.

Liz Fosslien has an interesting take on Harvard Business Review: That it's time to "re-onboard" everyone.

Fosslien says that it's important to be more intentional about bringing teams back together. She suggests leaders need to:

1. Make an emotional connection through random 30-minute, one-on-one meetings between members. Start in-person meetings with lighthearted prompts ("What food is underrated?") and let each person talk about a personal highlight for the week.

2. Recognize unique contributions. Encourage people to use the special talents or gifts they have and then share how those talents lead to great ideas.

3. Set short-term goals for immediate success. Let people share successes for attainable 30-day goals. This helps re-establish confidence and motivation.

4. Set clear expectations. How will team members working remotely still have a voice? How will progress be tracked? How will feedback be offered?

5. Celebrate. Offer recognition for those who meet the team values. Let team members recognize one another or win prizes for meeting goals or helping others.

While none of these suggestions are earth-shattering, they are important. That's because many of us feel out of sorts while trying to navigate a return to "normal" and any support from leadership will be critical during this transition.