Workplace Communication Tip — Week 10

“When I connect with the need that wasn’t met, I know I’ve connected with the need I want to be met, and my mind then looks for strategies to meet it.”- Ike Lasater, Words That Work In Business

This Person “Needs Improvement”

Have you ever received feedback from a coworker or boss that sounded something like this:

  • “He’s difficult to get along with.”
  • “She isn’t a team player.”
  • “No one likes to work with him because he’s a poor communicator.”
  • “You’re not pulling your weight around here.”

It’s no a surprise that feedback like this typically doesn’t lead to improved behavior; rather it often just leaves you feeling angry, depressed, ashamed, or guilty.

If you’ve had an interaction or encounter at work that didn’t go the way you’d like, don’t get caught up in similar judgments of yourself.

Instead, mourn the experience using self-empathy. Doing so helps us shift away from unproductive self-judgment back into the learning cycle.

You can practice mourning without your coworker present – either in your head or with the support of a friend. Start the minute you’re aware that you didn’t enjoy an interaction, observing your reaction, the feelings your reaction stirred up in you, and the needs that were not met.

If you long to free yourself from labels and judgments in the workplace, your first step is to stop judging yourself.


Mindful Practice for the Week

This week, become more aware of the moments when you are burdened by self-judgment or the judgment of a coworker because of an interaction you had. Become curious how you could move beyond this judgment through the process of mourning.

For more workplace communication tips, visit Puddlepress.