How to have a more harmonious worklife

Aug. 3, 2011

Every job situation is a social situation. We have no choice but to interact with coworkers, customers, contractors and many others I'm sure you could name without much effort. In the ideal world, that social interaction is always pleasant, those other people with whom one must deal, each and every one of them, exhibit the admirable personal traits the Golden Rule and every religion espouses as a template for living among others in a very harmonious manner, free of strife.

Every job situation is a social situation. We have no choice but to interact with coworkers, customers, contractors and many others I'm sure you could name without much effort. In the ideal world, that social interaction is always pleasant, those other people with whom one must deal, each and every one of them, exhibit the admirable personal traits the Golden Rule and every religion espouses as a template for living among others in a very harmonious manner, free of strife.

Unfortunately, real life isn’t quite so idyllic. There are quite a few out there who apparently didn’t get the memo. Again, I’m sure you could name without much effort. As I see it, life is way too short for it to demand and expect us to tolerate conflict and interpersonal nonsense at a personal level.

It’s especially troubling if one of the apparent sources of conflict originates among the denizens of Mahagony Row at your company. I know for a fact that it’s not universally true that upper management exhibits a certain lack of social civility. That’s not the point.

The idea is that the sting inflicted by conflict and interpersonal nonsense might be diminished a bit if you can gain a better understanding nature and reason for being. If nothing else, you won’t go crazy and take it home to spill all over your loved ones. That’s one place you certainly want to have a harmonious strife-free existence.

Yes, the ability to cope with supervisory foibles might be a useful skill. You might be less likely to take it personally and maybe even laugh it off as the nonsense it truly is. In that spirit, I offer you “The seven deadly sins CEOs won't admit,” by Lucy Kellaway.

The sad part is the lack of acknowledgement they exhibit. Alas, that’s too bad for them. If what Kellaway says is true, I wonder if those executives act the same way at home.

Now that I think about it, this might also apply to more than only the upper management level. I’d sure be interested in hearing about the conflict and nonsense you’ve experienced coming from any level in the organization.

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