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How do you handle workplace disappointments/barriers?

For example, if there was something that was bothering you, or there was a critique you'd like to make.

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Charlie’s Answer

As a HR Manager, I can assure you that most employers value an environment of open and transparent feedback in the workplace. Dealing with challenges at work can actually be an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

First, it's important to take a step back and assess the situation objectively. Ask yourself why you feel disappointed or what is causing the barrier. Try to identify the root cause of the problem. Once you've identified the issue, it's important to communicate it to the appropriate person or team. This usually means speaking with your manager or a colleague on the team that’s causing the frustration.

Focus on the behavior or situation that is causing the disappointment or barrier, rather than attacking the person. When communicating about disappointments or critiques, it's important to approach the situation with a positive mindset. Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects, focus on finding solutions and working towards a positive outcome. By doing so, you can turn a potential conflict into an opportunity for collaboration and teamwork.

If you're making a critique, offer suggestions for improvement and be open to feedback in return. Try to see the situation from the other person's perspective and work towards finding a mutually beneficial solution.

Overall, remember that setbacks at work are a natural part of the learning and growth process. By approaching them with a positive attitude and seeking support when needed, you can overcome any barriers and continue to thrive in your career. Good luck!
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Tim’s Answer

Hello Jocelyn,
First, caring enough to want to give feedback is a great place to start! Knowing that someone is invested where they work and wants to make it better is a great sentiment to share with others. One key is making sure you can convey "why" you would like to share the feedback. Framing feedback as an investment between yourself and your organization is important because it shows you want to improve your organization. Charlie has a great point about the value of sharing suggestions alongside critiques. Driving solutions is something everyone can be a part of when they approach feedback with positive intent and collaboration.
Giving feedback to people you have a great relationship with is always easier and helps ease tension. If you can start by building a relationship and asking questions, it will help frame solutions and build a bridge for you in future communication. No work environment is going to be perfect, and each situation will have drawbacks. However, always being present and being engaged enough to share innovative ideas to improve the work experience for everyone will make you a great team member.
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Marina’s Answer

Hi Jocelyn! I agree with Charlie. Just a few additional thoughts -
A positive working environment is one with a focus on their talent - you! Successful/happy employees lead to company success. Business leaders ultimately want you to be happy and should value your feedback. That being said, it's best to relay a solution to the problem (not just complaints). Not only will a solution show leadership (maybe your direct supervisor) that you have thought through the issue, it will help amplify yourself as you grow within the company and gain positive visibility within the hierarchy. Not every company promotes this type of culture, but those with long-term success do value it. Good luck!
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Seema’s Answer

There will always be times of disappointments, but these are the opportunities for improvement. You should always feel comfortable to speak up and share if something is bothering you. Your first stop should be your manager, but if that is not an option, HR should be available to you as a safe space to voice your concerns. Just know that things don't stay the same and it will get better. Try to be a maker of change and play a role in improving the workplace for all.
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Bhavana’s Answer

Great question and I want to commend you for being thoughtful and insightful. You will have a great career since you are already inquisitive and wanting to do self-reflection - this is not a skill everyone has in the workforce - even high level managers and corporate executives lack self-reflection. I would suggest reading about emotional intelligence and developing your EQ - there is a book that will give you access to take an assessment and then the book supports your learning based on what your assessment revealed!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Jocelyn,

It’s great that you’re considering navigating workplace disappointments and barriers! It’s a common challenge that everyone faces at some point in their careers. Here’s a breakdown of how to approach these situations effectively:

1. Identify the Issue:

Be Specific: Instead of general feelings of frustration, pinpoint the exact issue. Is it a specific task, a colleague’s behavior, a lack of resources, or a policy you disagree with?
Consider Your Perspective: Are you sure it’s a real problem, or is it a perception issue? Sometimes, our own biases or assumptions can create unnecessary barriers.

2. Gather Information:

Talk to Others: If it’s a team issue, talk to colleagues to see if they share your concerns. This can help you understand if it’s an individual problem or a systemic one.
Seek Feedback: If it’s a performance issue, ask for feedback from your supervisor or mentor. This can help you understand their perspective and identify areas for improvement.

3. Choose Your Approach:

Direct Communication: If it’s a minor issue, try addressing it directly with the person involved. Be calm, respectful, and focus on solutions.
Formal Channels: For more serious issues, follow your company’s grievance procedures or escalate the issue to your supervisor or HR department.
Self-Reflection: Sometimes, the issue might be something you can control. Are there ways you can improve your communication, time management, or work habits?

4. Be Assertive, Not Aggressive:

Express Your Concerns: Clearly and respectfully state your concerns, using “I” statements to avoid blaming others. For example, “I’m concerned about the lack of communication regarding project deadlines.”
Focus on Solutions: Instead of dwelling on the problem, suggest solutions or ways to improve the situation.

5. Be Open to Compromise:

Listen Actively: Pay attention to the other person’s perspective and try to understand their point of view.
Find Common Ground: Look for areas where you can agree and work together to find a solution that benefits everyone.

6. Seek Support:

Talk to a Trusted Colleague: Sharing your concerns with a trusted colleague can help you process your emotions and gain a different perspective.
Consider Professional Help: If the issue is causing significant stress or impacting your well-being, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.

Example: Addressing a Critique:

Let’s say you received a critique on a project that you feel was unfair. Here’s how you could handle it:

Identify the Issue: Specifically, what aspects of the critique did you disagree with? Was it the feedback itself, the tone, or the delivery?
Gather Information: Talk to your supervisor or colleagues to get their perspective on the critique. Did they agree with it?
Choose Your Approach: Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the critique. Be prepared to explain your perspective and ask for clarification.
Be Assertive, Not Aggressive: State your concerns calmly and respectfully. For example, “I’m confused about the feedback regarding [specific aspect of the project]. Could you please clarify your expectations?”
Be Open to Compromise: Listen to your supervisor’s explanation and try to understand their perspective. If you still disagree, suggest ways to improve communication or collaboration in the future.

Remember, handling workplace disappointments and barriers is a process. It takes time, patience, and a willingness to communicate effectively. By following these steps, you can navigate these challenges and create a more positive and productive work environment.

God Bless,
JC.
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