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Developing Self-Awareness

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Treating Others with Respect and Dignity

A culture of respect and dignity in the workplace ensures a healthy working environment. Contribute to this environment by:

  • Building a sense of community spirit at work through group lunches, organising and participating in events or workshops that emphasise team building.

  • Abiding by work ethics and maintaining confidentiality.

  • Treating your colleagues as you would like them to treat you.

  • Supporting your colleagues in times of need.

Related: Minding About Mindfulness

Managing Emotions

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It is common to experience anger and anxiety at work. When you are overwhelmed with such emotions, there may be a tendency to react explosively or become withdrawn. Learn to manage your emotions well so a sense of calm and stability can be maintained. This allows you to work better with your colleagues, even in stressful work situations.

Here are some techniques you can try to manage your emotions better.

Checking Your Thought Patterns

One of the ways to manage your emotions is to check and be more aware of your thought patterns. At times, negative thoughts can make us feel that we are not in control of our emotions. By learning how to identify these negative thoughts and correct them accordingly, we can react more appropriately to the situation.

Practise Relaxation Techniques

When things get out of hand, try slowing things down and trying these relaxation techniques to regain your calm.

  • Deep breathing (inhaling and exhaling slowly until you feel calm).

  • Playing relaxing or soothing music.

  • Excusing yourself from the situation to take a breather. However, assure the other party that you will come back to handle the situation when you have calmed down.

Related: Finding Emo - Know and Manage Your Emotions

Effective Communication

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Effective communication in the workplace minimises misunderstandings amongst colleagues and maximises work efficiency. When there are communication breakdowns at work, we spend time and energy trying to make amends.

General Communication Tips

It pays to be mindful of these four factors when communicating with others.

  1. Choice of words.

  2. Tone of voice.

  3. Non-verbal cues: Body language and expressed emotions.

  4. Relationships between communicating parties.

Communicate Effectively with Your Peers

It is important to be an active listener and speak with discretion when communicating with your colleagues/peers. It gives people the impression that you are genuinely interested in their views and shows respect to the speaker.

Speaking with discretion also helps to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. Cultivate the habit to think before you speak so that you are more likely to say the right thing at the right time.

Workplace relationships can be improved if you communicate clearly and frequently with your colleagues on the following:

  • What you are currently doing for the company.

  • What are some goals you are striving for at work, and perhaps even some of your personal ones that may affect work.

  • Some of the difficulties you are facing with customers, management, colleagues (be careful to put it across tactfully and sound like you would like to address the difficulty!).

Communicate Effectively with Your Superiors

Learn to accept instructions and feedback from your superiors as it is important to understand their positions and reasoning. You should not hesitate to ask for help when you need it and to explain problems that you encounter in your work when necessary.

The Language of Email

Emails are great if you have a specific request or updates for a colleague as the message can be read at their convenience. Try sounding more cordial instead of being distant by typing niceties like “Have a great day!” to make your emails sound more positive and pleasant for the reader.

Consider your choice of words carefully when crafting your email messages. Avoid writing impulse emails in the heat of the moment if you’re unhappy or angry! Pause a moment, cool down and review what you have written so it sounds more objective. Remember, stick to the facts and avoid character attacks! Being objective, constructive and offering solutions to improve the situation go a long way into cultivating better workplace relationships.

As you learn to communicate more effectively at work, you will be able to achieve your goals, garner support and feel much happier at work. Increasing understanding with the people you work with will lead to a happier and less stressful working environment.

Related: Listening with Heart

Recognising Your Role in the Team

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Working as a team means that you are part of a collective body whereby everyone is working towards a common objective or goal. This also means that you need patience and understanding to learn and adapt to different working habits, points of view and personalities of your team members.

Acknowledge Contributions

The affirmation and validation that you give to your members demonstrate appreciation for who they are and what they are doing. A simple gesture like saying a word of thanks or well done is not only good manners but helps to brighten up someone’s day at work.

Offer Emotional Support

Offering support to your colleagues in times of adversity enables you to be more involved in their life. This can range from encouragement to offering a listening ear when needed. Although we should still remain professional, being there for one another helps bring the team closer together as a unit.

Go the Extra Mile

In a workplace environment, doing something special for your colleagues or peers may not require a lot of effort. It could be something small like running an errand, answering the phone or even pulling out a file from the library for your colleague. Simple actions will help your colleagues see you positively and appreciate who you are.


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