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7 Ways To Deal With The Devil In The Workplace

7 Ways To Deal With The Devil In The Workplace

In the workplace, don't strike deals with the devil. Instead, navigate challenges wisely. Avoid gossip, reciprocate kindness, control your temper, and refuse to be a bystander. Seek the truth and embrace change, ensuring a harmonious and resilient career journey.

James Mason profile image
by James Mason

This blog is not intended to carry any religious connotations, and while the term "Devil" is present in various religious beliefs, its use here is metaphorical. The purpose of this article is to provide guidance on how employees can navigate difficult situations in the workplace.

We all recognise that confronting difficult or unethical situations at work can be quite trying, and it's crucial that we maintain our integrity and professionalism, especially when dealing with behaviour that might be viewed as highly inappropriate in the workplace. So, while we shouldn't take the term "making deals with the devil" literally, here are seven strategies to support you in your professional journey when faced with such situations, because inevitably, you will encounter them.

1) Avoid Engaging in Gossip

Gossip is a common occurrence in virtually every workplace, with employees at all levels participating in it. Gossip has been a part of human communication for as long as we can remember, and it's challenging to avoid overhearing conversations or being exposed to information that might amuse, appal, or astonish you. However, it's crucial to refrain from actively participating in gossip.

Getting caught up in gossip can have detrimental consequences. When you share something that you believe to be true but later discover it to be false, that information may find its way back to someone who takes offence, and it could potentially become an obstacle to your career advancement. It's best to steer clear of gossip to maintain your professional integrity and avoid unnecessary workplace conflicts.

2) Repay Acts of Kindness, Don't Ignore Them

When a colleague extends a helping hand, whether it's offering support, advocating for your promotion, or being a sympathetic ear during challenging times, it's essential to acknowledge and reciprocate their kindness. Instead of taking these gestures for granted, make an effort to give back in return.

Repaying kindness fosters a positive work environment and strengthens relationships. It's not just about returning favours out of obligation, but rather, it's a way to express appreciation for the support you've received. When you reciprocate, it shows that you value your coworker's cooperation within your workplace, and it can lead to a more collaborative and supportive atmosphere. Ignoring them will simply prevent them from helping you in the future and who knows, you could become the talk of bad gossip.

3) Keep Your Emotions in Check

Conflicts with colleagues can arise, and in heated moments, it's crucial not to let your emotions get the best of you. Even though there are established codes of conduct within the workplace, there are times when frustration or anger can lead to saying something inappropriate in front of the wrong audience. Such outbursts can result in disciplinary actions, alter how your coworkers perceive you, and potentially hinder your chances of career advancement.

When you find yourself getting upset, especially when you're confident that you are in the right, it's essential to exercise self-control. Rather than allowing your emotions to drive your response, take a step back and assess the situation objectively. If someone is behaving inappropriately towards you, even resorting to profanities, remember that you have the right to protect your dignity and well-being.

In such cases, you can address the issue by reporting it to your manager or HR department. By doing so, you not only maintain your professionalism but also ensure that your workplace remains a respectful and supportive environment. It's essential to address conflicts in a constructive and appropriate manner, rather than letting emotions jeopardise your career prospects and relationships with colleagues.

4) Seek The Truth And Don’t Assume

In the face of workplace conflicts or mistakes, it's imperative to make a genuine effort to uncover the root causes and understand how they transpired. It's easy to fall into the trap of assuming that someone who claims to know the truth is indeed accurate in their assessment. Whether that individual is a close coworker or even your line manager, it doesn't automatically make them the ultimate authority on the matter.

When you find yourself entangled in a situation, it's vital to conduct your investigation and seek your own understanding of the truth. This is particularly crucial when the outcome could impact someone's job or reputation, as making decisions based on flimsy or incorrect evidence can have severe consequences.

Discovering the genuine facts and the real cause behind a situation not only preserves your integrity but also contributes to fair and just outcomes. It ensures that the right course of action is taken, and individuals are not unjustly penalized. In doing so, you not only protect your own conscience but also contribute to maintaining a just and ethical workplace.

5) Don’t Be A Bystander

In the workplace, conflicts and misconduct can sometimes unfold before our eyes, and although we may not be directly involved, we can find ourselves as witnesses. Observing a colleague becoming aggressive and undermining another team member can be distressing, and some individuals opt to turn a blind eye to avoid getting entangled in the situation. However, this approach isn't always the right one.

It's essential not to be a passive bystander when you witness troubling behaviour. If someone is higher up the organisational hierarchy and their actions make you concerned about your own position in the company, remember that remaining silent isn't the solution. Silence can perpetuate a toxic work environment and enable wrongdoing to persist.

Consider this: What if you were to witness the same individual sexually assaulting another coworker? In such a grave situation, remaining silent is not an option. It's crucial to speak up, report the incident to the appropriate channels, and ensure that the victim receives the support and protection they need. Reporting misconduct, even when it's uncomfortable or intimidating, is a moral and ethical obligation, as well as a crucial step in maintaining a safe and respectful workplace for all employees.

6) Don’t Suffer In Silence

If the demands and stress of your job are reaching unbearable levels, it's crucial not to keep soldiering on in the hope that things will magically improve. Ignoring the signs of excessive stress can take a toll on your health and well-being, potentially resulting in a range of issues, including poor performance, increased sick days, and a tarnished reputation within the company.

Your manager may be completely unaware of your situation because you haven't communicated it to them, or perhaps they are aware but unable to address the issue effectively. In either case, it's vital to share your situation with others in the organisation, and the Human Resources (HR) department is often the ideal support network to turn to.

No one should feel burdened with impossible work deadlines or overwhelming stress, even if you've taken on more than you can handle. It's essential to assess your situation, recognise your limits, and speak up when necessary. Discussing your concerns with HR or your manager can lead to the necessary adjustments and support, helping you maintain a healthier work-life balance and overall well-being while ensuring your productivity and reputation remain intact.

7) Embrace Change

In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace, change is a constant. Whether it's technological advancements, organizational restructuring, or shifts in company culture, embracing change is an essential skill for professional success.

Many employees often resist change due to fear of the unknown, uncertainty about their roles, or the discomfort of stepping outside their comfort zones. However, those who resist change can find themselves at a disadvantage. It's crucial to adapt and, where possible, welcome changes as opportunities for growth and improvement.

Embracing change not only helps you stay relevant and competitive in your field but also demonstrates your flexibility and adaptability, qualities highly valued by employers. Moreover, by embracing change, you can position yourself as a problem solver and a proactive contributor to your organization's success.

To effectively embrace change, stay informed about industry trends, be open to learning new skills, and maintain a positive attitude. When you show your willingness to adapt, you not only enhance your career prospects but also contribute to a dynamic and forward-thinking workplace. Remember that change can lead to innovation and progress, and those who embrace it are more likely to thrive in an ever-evolving professional world.

Remember, it's crucial to maintain your integrity and adhere to your principles while dealing with workplace challenges. Making unethical deals or compromises can lead to long-term consequences and damage your professional reputation.

James Mason profile image
by James Mason

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