It’s so easy to refrain from speaking up when you’re a new bee in the office. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come across so many interns and first years that probably need to shut. it. down… and think thoroughly before they speak, there are also the ones that need to take some ethics classes as well. However for the rest of us it’s super important that we stand up for our selves and bring ideas to the table.
In my experience, there seems to be a large percentage of women specifically that need to stand up for themselves. We all get super intense and scared for the E word. EMOTIONAL. However you need to remember that we need to stand up for ourselves when we are being disrespected.
Case One: The Disrespectful Coworker
We all work with different departments which we are expected to butt heads with. We need to be wary of how we communicate with one another so no one is offended of their abilities and work. If you notice some tension it’s best to attack it head on and try to talk to your coworker in a calm and professional setting. If this cannot be done, I suggest getting a mediator involved. We all come to work and will continue to do so for years to come. We have to learn to agree to disagree and do it in a respectful manner so we can validate that we hear what people have to say despite not agreeing with them.
If this cannot be done or you cannot seem to find a mediator then you can always get someone from your HR team involved. Be sure you talk this out and write out your issues so you understand the problem at hand as well. I like the bullet technique so then the mediator can reflect on those points as well.
Case Two: Letting your Ideas get Heard
In the book, “Lean In”, Sheryl Sandberg states that women need to sit at the table. I want to say that we all need to sit at the table. Just because you are not an executive it does not mean you sit behind or sit on the side. If you have something to say, say it. We always think that what we have to say has to be validated by other people however sometimes our ideas can spark other conversations. This can not only help you grow but allow your entire team to grow. In addition, this shows that you are willing to stand up for yourself and have something to say. If you sideline your ideas all the time then people will treat you that way overtime and not invite you to the table in the future.
Case Three: Don’t take the Blame when It’s not yours to Take
I don’t know how many times there has been a misunderstanding and I’ve relayed to my manager the story just for there to be another misunderstanding. As we grow and get better with our jobs so will our communication skills. In the meantime we need to remember that sometimes we need to correct people. I remember one time when one of my clients was upset with the way their project was handled. This was a project that my manager took over during my vacation time and when I came back the client was furious.They reached out to the VP of our division and next thing i knew I was sitting with the VP and director about to explain something I didn’t do in the first place. I tried to forward them the emails of what happened and finally I stated to them. If you look where I highlighted.. you can see that this email did not come from me. They quickly realized it was my manager and took appropriate action and talked to her about it. Sometimes it can be difficult and you may seem like a snitch however it is never okay to take the blame for something you did not participate in.
My biggest lesson here is that learning to communicate efficiently and effectively can not only help you at work but also with your loved ones outside of work. When there is miscommunication try to work through it in a calm manner and resolve issues before they get further escalated.
What are some ways you have stood up for yourself at work?