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Hi Everyone, So glad to have you once more as my guest. It’s a cold and dry Wednesday morning and I feel so emotionally drained already- not because I’d just arrived at my workplace, but because two of my colleagues who usually  make the hours of 7.30am through 5pm a hell of a boring experience for me at work has arrived!. Just at the hall way I could hear the footsteps of Oyinkepreye, A Coporate Marketing Executive in the company I work with.

We’ve nickednamed her “MB” for short meaning ‘Mother Bee” or ‘Mother of the Bees’. From the nickname I guess you can pick a clue or two from that, yeah? Why not? Afterall a bee is not known for ‘peaceful coexistence”. Oyinkepreye is the proper definition of a proud and loud girl looks like in all modest definition. Everyone around knows that Phil Ekanem a Construction Engineer is her arch enemy funny though. Just this morning, there was a melo-drama ensued. Ekanem was on his to the office coming through the ground floor staircase when his ‘laptop bag dropped on the floor right  just at the rear of the staircase .Someone else could have helped him get it, but not Oyinkepreye, she  defiantly acted like she never knew if anyone passed her by!. Now this is what Im talking about,-Office ‘Bifs’. If I may ask, what actually causes office bifs’ quarrels, and what makes two people working as colleagues act like sworn enemies? Well if you have been offended or wrongly offended someone else in your office be it a subordinate, boss, colleague , junior staff or whoever, chances are likely that either your action was subconscious, purposely driven or came as a result of protecting ones’ image under the guise of coporate interest

In the workplace, since work is conducted in chains or circles using the division of labour approach, just expect it!, don’t let it shock you, there are bound to be conflicts and crisis plus personal differences. And when conflicts are not well managed on time, it snowballs to crisis or violence. But when faced with issues like this, here are some ideas to help you go on with the flow, yeah? Don’t let someone end your happy day joor o!

  1. Understanding how people act, and their manners will help  you avoid rare violent outbursts, if someone’s been on your trail, either you confidently ignore (which can lead to greater resentment), you report (which can cause office marginalization) or you confront peacefully (this can leave the other party defend, attack, react or relax)
  2. Understand the key players in office politics, have you joined the bandwagon? If not then find a way to remain neutral because the moment you take sides with a camp, you’ve proven to the other parties that you’ve pitched your tent somewhere, hence you’re considered a threat.
  3. Sometimes, work could get so tense that you’ll be too drained and rather than act under pressure, remain calm or take a walk and take in a deep breath before taking further decisions
  4. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you- take your time and be courteous when responding to anyone.
  5. Do not berate or belittle anyone! remember that the cleaner deserves his respect likewise the janitor. Belittling people around you is a clear sign of self insecurity and this could earn you enemies in the office!
  6. Earn respect, act responsibly and you’ll find favour in all corners.
  7. Never use foul language on anyone especially colleagues when in the heat of an argument. You could lose your temper and say things you’ll later regret. At best, you will appear emotionally frail and weak in hard times, and at worst, you could lose your job! And I guess the latter is not what you want .Besides, setting your emotions aside and being objective will help you resolve official differences without anger or lingering.
  8. You could listen to gossip but don’t help in spreading it. Often times, rumours are totally misleading and false. Taking part in one will not obnly hurt your reputation but can cause problematic interactions that can destroy cordial relationships with people built over the years
  9. Be open to constructive criticism and see it as an avenue to develop yourself and be a better person. We are all humans and we have our faults and weaknesses. And part of overcoming such weakness is the ability to condone and welcome the raw truth’ Open criticism”. But if you are the one doing so, find some private space and time to relate with the person in question. Public criticism in public even when you are the boss clearly shows that you’re insensitive about being discreet with people’s feelings.
  10. If by chance you bearing grudge on someone, why not find some time and speak your mind to the person? Keeping in mind that having grudges against someone could likely affect your relationship with other members of your workplace. But in all, try and use courteous language, be open and honest, chances are that the other person will see reasons with you and apologise.  Where you decide to be dramatic with raging tirade, you’ll end up incurring the wrath of your bosses, lose yourself respect before other folks, and so why not be diplomatic? It helps you know.

According to Author of the book “Dialogue’’ William Isaacs, when people listen together, dialogue can sometimes, evoke a deep and unusual experience of common understanding and communion. It is usual because people come to realize that they do not need to know every detail of the personal histories of the individuals they are speaking with to have the feeling of proud connection. This is what is meant by Koinonia which means “impersonal fellowship” a term coined by the early Christian communities at the beginning of first millennium: So as you go along in your daily activities in your office, try and be more objective, friendly, be a good team mate and be koinonia’nistic!

Have a wonderful Wednesday! and don’t forget to smile!

Agatha Ashiofu

Agatha Ashiofu

Credits: William Isaacs; Dialogue –the art of thinking together, Random House New York

Picture:Agatha Ashiofu

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