Relationships in the office can be challenging since we spend a larger portion of our lifetimes at the office than we do with our partners! Obviously, we should make a serious endeavor to maintain office etiquette, and we should also try to keep ourselves clean from its politics. For, no matter how good our performance is, we are going to be screened and scrutinized – it's an unavoidable part of the workplace scenario. Luckily, I have never been caught up in the murkiness of workplace politics.
I have found these guidelines extremely helpful, and I try to follow them categorically.
· Practice etiquette and proper manners. Do not be noisy and loud with your interactions. Learn to screen your personal calls and emails. In case of urgency make it brief and soft.
· Keep the shared items like computers, furniture and desks very clean and do not keep your personal belongings in/on them.
· Do not use strong perfumes that might be disturbing and sickening for others. Do not eat food with strong odor that might fill the office and get you unwanted attention.
· Maintain your professionalism. Do not spread gossip or be an active part of it. Maintain your dignity so that your character earns respect.
· Try to be friendly and helpful. Do not be snobbish with a matter-of-fact attitude. This will invite problems. So, do not be too interfering or too alienated. Try to keep the right kind of balance.
· Be a team person and do not be too authoritative. Be friendly to your sub-ordinates and give space and respect to their needs.
· Do not try to force your personal errands on others giving them fuel for the fires of gossip. Your deportment should be respectful, not bullying.
· Do no get too personal with your colleagues and sub-ordinates. You may be taken for granted.
· Lastly but most importantly, be yourself. Be original. Do not pretend, pose, talk foolishly or drop names. You should be able to face yourself at the end of the day.
Tips & Warnings
Remember, ability can take you to places but your character keeps you there.
At the end of the day we all are humans. So, try to give the benefit of doubt to others.
Do not get carried away with your 'too good' image. In your endeavor to do good and be considerate every time, people might find it easy to use you.
Develop the ability to figure out the liars and cheats in your office and handle them accordingly.
There is one Chinese proverb, which I just love. "Those who give one (news) take two." So, I always try to dodge the malicious gossips.
Lastly one fun thing to share:
A store manager overheard a clerk saying to a customer, "No, ma'am, we haven't had any for some weeks now, and it doesn't look as if we'll be getting any soon."
Alarmed by what was being said, the manager rushed over to the customer who was walking out the door and said, "That isn't true, ma'am. Of course, we'll have some soon. In fact, we placed an order for it a couple of weeks ago."
Then the manager drew the clerk aside and growled, "Never, never, never, never say we don't have something. If we don't have it, say we ordered it and it's on its way. Now, what was it she wanted?"
The clerk smiled and said, "Rain."
Try not to be a manager like that!