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Overcoming jealousy at work

Your colleague promotion, Plum project, yet another scream at a team meeting.

We find it easy to start our day with a congratulations at the best moments when you are safe, confident and able to keep an eye on your paper. Jealousy can also sneak up.Threatened by colleagues and outside rivals Super star In turn, Question Our own dreams, talents and follow-throughs, we fall into the trap of comparison.

“It’s a natural person,” says Tanya Menon, a professor of business at Ohio State University’s Business School. “We are social animals. We want to know where we stand in the hierarchy.”

So what if the answer is: Isn’t it as expensive as that guy in the treasurer killing it? How to overcome jealousy, anxiety And do you even get angry and prevent them from interfering with your career? Can jealousy ever help?

The first step is simply to acknowledge your feelings and refrain from judging or filling them, says Dr. Menon. She defines true jealousy as destructive. You try to interfere with the success of your colleagues and refuse to cooperate.

“I really think that dangerous things will happen when we actually deny it,” she says. “We say,’No, I’m fine, but I’m going to attack others in all sorts of harmful ways.” ”

As you feel Compete with colleagues It is not toxic in itself. The trick is to remember that success is not a scarce resource and let your emotions liven up your own game. Hoping to outperform worthy rivals can boost us that way.

Such an upward comparison is “motivational but painful,” says Dr. Menon.

When a new employee joined the team of Cleveland-based benefits broker Deanna Hutchison at BBG, she got tired and “worried about the fact that she might be better than me.” I was as relieved as he helped me with the workload.

Former teacher Hutchison jumped into the role of account manager without formal training and learned while learning. The new hires had years of experience and a assertive attitude praised by Mr. Hutchison in a gentler tone. What if no one needs her anymore?

She confessed her concerns and approached her boss. Talking about it, he reassured him that the company still cherished her and needed her. Still, it was sometimes stabbed when a colleague suggested a sharp idea, such as suggesting a new software system to increase efficiency.

Hatchson began asking himself, “Does her suggestion really help me?”

“Actually,” she realized.

Being on the receiving side of jealousy can also be enviable. When working for an entertainment company many years ago, Erin Person had a colleague who often seemed indignant when he traded or received benefits like event tickets. I did.

“Her reaction was,’Why didn’t I receive it?'” Said Person, CEO of ConnectEO Network, an online community for entrepreneurs now based in Los Angeles. Stated. Mr. Parson said he was dissatisfied with the negative chatter in the office, confronted his colleagues, wanted them to be collaborators, and didn’t understand why they seemed to be in conflict. ..

Erin Person wanted a candid conversation to ease awkward office relationships.


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Tommy B

She wanted the story to pave the way for a warm relationship, but instead her colleagues went away. (However, Office gossip At least dead. )

One still wonders if part of the tension arose from the fact that they were both black women and only two in the department. Perhaps her colleagues felt that the workplace had no room for both of them, she says.

Melody Wilding, executive coach and social worker in Jersey City, NJ, notices growing self-doubt. Impostor syndrome During the pandemic, among her clients.

“We are always alone in our heads,” she says.

Share your thoughts

How do you deal with feelings of jealousy? Join the conversation below.

Even if we reappear in the world, jealousy incites workers to either throw away passive-aggressive thorns or simply retreat, avoiding meetings they fear. Such moves can be self-fulfilling prophecies and can undermine the prospects for employee promotion, said Wilding, author of the book Trust Yourself on Navigating Emotions in the Workplace. She recommends that workers keep a “pride file” that records their wins each week.

“You are the one who is hype about yourself,” says Wilding. “It’s not just about relying on others to recognize you and say you’re great.”

Jessica Ko, CEO of San Francisco-based cloud storage company Playbook.com, personally praises employees via direct messages. She says that broadcasting company-wide compliments tends to evoke Agita among workers who always seem to be wondering, “Will this person be the CEO’s favorite?” I noticed. Ko says.

Rand Fishkin, the current CEO of Seattle-based market research software company Spark Toro, has been idolizing prominent tech founders in establishing early startup marketing software company Moz for years. Spent.

“You look, you go,’well, I’m just not enough,'” he says. “Why can’t I take a break?”

He says the obsession sometimes encouraged him to take the company the wrong way, chased venture capital, and worked to “hard” himself and his team.

Rand Fishkin continued to compare himself with other technology founders.


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SparkToro

Eventually, he resigned from Moz’s CEO role, rethinking his priorities, and moving things down the list, including achieving exponential growth goals.

Recently, he sometimes experiences a slight pain of jealousy when he hears the success of other founders. But that feeling is like praise, he says: “Yes, that’s the person I want to be.”

Don’t let you be the envy

How to overcome jealousy and not hurt you in the office:

* Acknowledge your emotions: Do not deny or judge negative emotions when they pop up. Keep in mind that comparing yourself to others can be painful at times, but it is completely natural.

* Forge it if you have to: Even if you want to be the one who won the promotion, send a congratulatory note. Professor Tanya Menon says you will start to see yourself as a bigger person.

* Build confidence: Create a proud file that records your achievements and strengths, says executive coach Melody Wilding.

* Rethink your habits: Are the people you follow on social media inspiring you or just making you feel terrible? CEO Rand Fishkin recommends evaluating what you read and consume online. If the interaction is more harmful than it is useful, unfollow or stay a little further away.

Write to Rachel Finezeig rachel.feintzeig@wsj.com

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Overcoming jealousy at work

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