Is Susan from accounting in the breakroom bitching about her husband again? Mark talking reckless about Jessica’s performance in yesterday’s meeting? Are those coworkers at it again with the pettiness? Workplace drama is one of those things that’s bound to happen when you put groups of people together. The mixing of different personalities, backgrounds, values and expectations can create all types of issues in the workplace. It’s important to have patience in each unique situation. Workplace drama is an unnecessary stressor and how you navigate it makes all the difference. At times, work stress can feel unavoidable but I’ve got 3 suggestions to share on navigating workplace drama but first I’ve got some questions for you.
Do you often find your attention taken away from your task at hand and instead focused on your coworker’s drama?
Have you ever walked into a space and felt the tension of an argument that happened moments before?
Do you spend your commute worrying over what kind of mood your coworkers will be in?
If you answered yes, then navigating workplace drama can be a real struggle for you at times. You might even find yourself swept up in the drama, trying to help everyone find peace just so you don’t have to feel the tension the drama is creating.
Perhaps you find yourself thinking about work drama during your personal time away from the office. Thinking over and over again about the situation to the point where you can’t even enjoy your time out of the office.
Or maybe the office drama is pulling you away from your work responsibilities. You’re falling behind on your project and losing focus but your coworker’s drama is flourishing and well.
Life is stressful enough without taking on stress created by others.
If you find yourself resonating with these workplace scenarios I’ve got three suggestions.
- Get clear about what’s your issue to tackle and what falls under your job description. This is how you can begin setting up healthy boundaries and honoring your energy. When situations come your way that fall on the other side of our boundaries remind yourself “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” You don’t have to fix everything all the time. Sometimes the wisest action is inaction.
- When you find yourself overthinking work drama during your personal time, remember that you’re the thinker of your thoughts. Remind yourself that your personal time is yours to think about and do what you want. Remind yourself that you can think about work while at work. Remind those thoughts that want your focus that it isn’t time for them. It’s so easy to get swept up in thoughts that keep you from enjoying the moment. It’s your job to protect your time. So when the work drama creeps up into your thoughts, talk back to them and let them know you’ve got better things to think on.
- Get clear about those co-workers who always have some kind of drama that they bring into the workplace. You can’t change people but as always you can change how you respond to them. This is another suggestion about boundaries. Your awareness of who is always stirring the pot will allow you to decide if you’re going to respond to them or let them be caught up in their own storms.
Pick your battles when it comes to work stress. Stress has a huge impact on your health so managing it will have an even bigger impact than you may initially realize.
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