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What to Do When You're Hated at Work (Page 1 of 2)

At some point in your career, you’ve probably felt disliked—or even hated—by someone at work. Maybe it was your boss, a co-worker, or someone in a different department you interacted with occasionally. Perhaps the person was trying to get you fired, make you look bad, or just cause you frustration and self-doubt. I could be that they don’t like the way you look, sound or act? Maybe they think you “stole” their last UP or took the credit for an idea? Does this sound familiar? Is it happening to you now?

Whoever it was and whatever they did, this person made your work-life miserable…and that’s a serious problem for your career, your health, and all your other relationships. Recent medical studies from all over the world show that being around someone who negatively impacts you affects you physiologically as well as psychologically. These studies cite that everything from heart attacks to depression can result from an environment that’s toxic to you. Notice the key phrase “toxic to you.” Even though the environment might not be toxic to others, it might be toxic to you.

So what can you do when you’re the target of someone’s dislike? In reality, no matter who hates you or what they’re doing to show it, you have three—and only three—options.

Option 1: Ignore It

You may be able to ignore the situation, especially if the person who hates you doesn’t work with you directly, interacts with you infrequently, and isn’t trying to get you in trouble. If the brunt of the problem consists of a few mean glances ion the sales floor or a cold shoulder in a Saturday morning sales meeting, then ignoring it could be the answer. Sometimes you just need to develop thicker skin.

However, if you have a gnawing feeling in your gut every time you see the person, that means you can’t ignore it. The feelings are taking their toll on you and will affect your health at some point. Remember, we’re social beings, so feeling hated is stressful. Any additional stress will negatively affect you in some way. Therefore, it’s time to look at option number two.

Option 2: Fix it

Yes, you can fix the situation. To do so, first realize your part in it. While most of us wouldn’t lie to a trusted friend, we lie to ourselves every day. Something pivotal happened that caused this person to hate you. Identify it. Perhaps you were hired from the outside over them…maybe you got the nicer office they wanted…perhaps the boss liked your marketing idea better…possibly you reacted to their constructive criticism in a negative way…or maybe you mistakenly took their can of soda from the break room refrigerator thinking it was yours. Look back over the course of your relationship with the person and pinpoint when the negativity started and your role in it.

Next, decide to have a much-needed “difficult conversation” with the person. Realize that if you don’t talk to the person, nothing will change. People are complex and we never know what they’re thinking unless we ask them. Sure, we often think we know what’s going on in someone else’s head, but in reality, we don’t. That’s why having this conversation is so important.

Using Networking Events to Increase Your Sales

It is not difficult to increase your sales by using networking events. Your first task is to find them, and they are generally advertised online and also offline in areas where they are due to be held. Once you have established that you are able to attend a specific networking event, you should plan for it, because without planning and preparation you will not get the maximum benefit from it.

Relationship building is one of the more valuable benefits from networking events, and if you can connect with the right people then you can not only increase your sales but build a better foundation for the future of your business. Here are some tips on how to use such events to get the maximum benefits of networking events and advantage from them.

Be Prepared!

“That’s the boy scouts marching song,” in the words of the great Tom Lehrer, and without proper preparation you will never get the maximum advantage from a networking event. Make sure you have business cards, even if yours is just an online business. You can print individual cards on these machines you find at airports, or invest in having a printer run off a few hundred for you.

You may not need them all, but at least you’re prepared. You won’t impress anybody if you try to print them yourself – unless you are very professional in doing so. You will not increase your sales by being unprofessional. Make sure you take a pen with you along with a small pad – you will hopefully have a number of contact names and numbers to make note of. It looks terrible if you have to borrow a pen!

Getting to Know You

“Getting to know all about you”, so the song from ‘The King and I’ goes. It’s not so much about whom you know but who knows you. You might know all the right people, but do the right people know you? If the important people in your field know you, then you are more likely to benefit than if you know them! It’s a fine distinction, but an important one.

So don’t attend networking events with the idea of meeting certain people. They might have no interest in you, and might not even be those who can help you to develop your business. Approach those that appear to be relevant to your field of interest.

What to Say

“Polite conversation is rarely either,” according to Fran Lebowitz, and this is very true at networking events. Trying to be polite by asking somebody who they work for could be a massive faux pas, so simply ask what service they provide. Do not enter into a conversation unless you feel that the other party could benefit your business – whether from a client or a vendor aspect.

A quick chat, exchange of cards or details, then goodbye – and on to the next person that catches your eye. Many people attending such events get caught up with individuals or groups, and fail to make the best of the event as a consequence. To increase your sales, you are best to keep on the move with an open eye for those that may benefit you or that you believe you could benefit – the two can be synonymous in respect of benefits to your business.

The Aftermath

“After you’ve gone there’s no denying” that you should have a bunch of business cards and contact details. That’s the whole objective of networking events: to make contacts, seek potential clients and build a framework of trust for relationships and referrals in the future.

If you find potential contacts in your area, then email them later and suggest you meet up for coffee or something. Perhaps this is a contact that could be converted into a client, maybe a vendor that can save you money, or perhaps even a future partner in a joint venture – whichever of these you feel is appropriate, you still have to meet again after the networking event.

If you feel that the relationship could develop, then maybe invite them to some other event you know of in your area. If not, then at least keep their details so you can build up a good contact list. Who knows when they might be useful to you!

Finally. . .

“. . .Now my destiny can begin” sings Fergie, and so can yours if you have met the right people and made the right contacts. If not, ‘don’t worry, be happy,’ because you will have many more networking events to attend and many more contacts to meet.

The whole ethos about networking events is, yes, to see what’s going on and what’s available, but mainly to make mutually beneficial contacts, to build up your contact list and some people even make lifelong friendships that benefit both. You are not there to try to sell your products – you are there to build bridges to enable you to do that.

“Maybe it’s hard to find the right people” – perhaps Ian Dury couldn’t, but you certainly can by attending these events with a view to learning and making contacts and not to sell, but to increase your sales through the contacts you make. You should also have fun when you are doing this, and you will be surprised how you can attract people to you: the right people. The people that can help you increase your sales and you can help them to achieve the same.