Inner-strength training tip #28: To advance yourself at work, find the edge between making decisions on your own and breaking the rules. However, be respectful towards others and their positions.
Are you at work right now? Chances are you’re sitting at your desk or whipped out your phone and are looking for some comfort online.
See I know what you did, you made someone at work upset. And now, you want an explanation. I’ve been there.
Your actions may have been unintentional but you touched the hot stove and you got burnt. I’m not saying it is a bad thing either.
Work is tricky. You want to succeed and get promoted but inevitably you will step on people’s toes. And if you are a woman, you might consider yourself sensitive and you feel things you don’t want to feel, the last thing you want to do is feel the heat! That’s for sure!
Here are the signs that reveal that you crushed someone’s feet.
- A feeling of tension that you can feel in your solar plexus
- Someone may cut you off when you are speaking with them as a way to get control
- Crossing boundaries to see how far they can push you
- You feel that you can’t speak freely like you are being held back by an invisible force that’s preventing you from speaking normally
- A person not letting you talk or be the full 100% yourself because they feel threatened
- Comments made that tell you to back off
- Speaking for you
- Feeling under their control
- Obvious facial expressions that show they are in discomfort
- Coworkers give each other knowing glances like “Are you seeing this?”
How you can deal right now
This is a common problem at work. Repeatedly showing your natural talents is threatening to everyone. It is human nature, and even the most ambitious of us are still threatened that we will be forgotten or that we aren’t noticed.
If you elicit such a reaction as what was listed above, know that you can’t take it personally.
A situation like this is complex, and it is hard to generalize because there are other factors that influence it.
For one, you need to take into account a few things. How close are you with the person who gave you the reaction? Are they someone that uplifts or tears down? Do they have your best interest at heart? Are they mentoring you or genuinely threatened?
Now that we’ve established the problem and the signs. I want to take a moment to say congratulations! Because if you are getting resistance from someone at work then you must be showing ambition, initiative, and the drive to succeed.
If you stay consistent while making improvements to your delivery you will succeed over time and get that promotion or the respect that you want to get. These things can take time.
If you make someone upset because of your work or skills know that this has nothing to do with you. In fact, there are two situations that I can think of where a person would have this reaction toward you.
The first situation would be you generally stepped on their toes.
If this is the case your skills triggered the unwarranted backlash you now feel. It isn’t fair, but it is human to be intimidated by what we perceive as better.
Know that whoever is muting you may be extremely insecure about their abilities or areas in life. When we are secure and happy with our skills, abilities, and ourself we don’t tear down. In fact, we let others shine freely and take pleasure in their success.
Insecurities reveal themselves by needing too much control of a situation, exerting anxious energy, needing a lot of attention and help, or they can also go inward by being extremely quiet, speaking negatively about a co-worker to increase your own strength, put-downs, and undermining.
If you notice this person checks these boxes then they may be doubtful about themselves. Additionally, they could be unhappy in another aspect of their life such as their marriage, their finances, their job, and your confidence or intelligence may make them upset.
One thing is for sure, as humans we try to avoid pain at all cost, we are protective of ourselves and can be fearful.
When you interject a new idea in a meeting, or speak with confidence, or put your own spin on a task that deviates away from the norm know that people think it’s a great idea as well. And arouses jealously.
The second scenario that might trigger this reaction is if you are approaching situations too aggressively or for the wrong reasons.
Are you demanding people follow your orders and when you just started at the job?
Do you cut people off just because you want power over them, and don’t care about their feelings?
Are you willing to do almost anything (gossip, toxically bond with others, betray) as a way to gain favor or a leg up at work?
In that case, the person that set you straight has may just be establishing boundaries so that don’t get railroaded by you! *laughs*
You need to establish which situation your scenario falls under. Did you try to railroad this person and take their power? Or, were you genuinely trying to help do a great job and got figuratively smacked in the face by their words?
These situations are bound to happen often, especially when trying to advance yourself in the workplace. It helps to know why they happen so that you can move forward with a clear head and focus on what really matters. The work!
Tell me one time you knew that you stepped on someone’s toes at work.