We have all experienced someone somewhere throughout our careers that just doesn’t want to make life easy. Whether it’s your new work colleague that’s worried you are going to take their job or a boss who has just taken a disliking to you, belittling everything you do, questioning every step you make or ensuring that you seem to get the blame for everything that goes wrong.
I know I have been there, unfortunately for me it was my boss. Little did I know at the time that actually what I was experiencing was bullying within the workplace and to its extreme. We are talking plastic bricks being thrown here people!
At the time, my day-to-day work environment was hellish. I was dreading my journey into work every day, and generally, by 11’oclock hiding in the toilets crying. It’s not a good place to be in and can really knock one’s confidence. Unfortunately it is something that happens all too often.
So how do we turn these situations around and what can you do to ensure that these situations build you up rather than knock you down?
Rule # 1 – Learn From Negative Situations
Look at a negative situation or event as an opportunity to learn and grow personally. Albert Einstein said “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Don’t channel your energy into a negative reaction, but into something positive that will make the situation better, not worse.
Rule # 2 – Control Your Response
The golden rule of staying positive in a negative situation is to control your response. Take a deep breath, count to 10, do whatever it takes to remove yourself from the negativity. Wait until you calm down and have thought clearly about your response. If you respond out of emotion you will only make it worse and probably rise to the bully. Remember Thumper’s rule. “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” This is good advice when you find yourself in a negative situation. Even if someone else isn’t doing as such, rise above!
Rule # 3– Accentuate The Positive
Remember that scene in The Jungle Book where Baloo breaks into a song about staying positive?
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
Words of wisdom from a dancing bear.
Rule # 4– Not your fault
Most importantly, it’s realising that the situation you are in is not normal, not right and certainly not your fault. That’s the biggest and probably the hardest part of it all, we are drilled into thinking that ‘the boss is always right’ or ‘complain and lose your job’. If that’s what your worried about and you think is going to happen well to be fair, its probably the best all round, let someone else take your role and get yourself the hell out of there.
For me, it wasn’t until I moved on that I could really stand back and realise what had been happening. And now, I have used it very much to my advantage. Having stepped away from my events career and now helping others to go through theirs, I often use my experience as an example to others who are experiencing the same.
But do you know what, it made me stronger! It made me realise that even though I was in tears every day, I was strong enough to stick through a daily torrent of abuse and come out the other side. Dare I say it, said boss actually taught me a thing or two about the events industry that I still use to this day.
Keeping a positive attitude in a negative situation is hard, but if you work at it you will learn to overcome your emotional reactions. Doing so will enhance your professional appearance and show that even under negative circumstances you can maintain control and deal with any issue in a positive way and certainly come out as the bigger person.
Unbelievably I am interviewing candidates to this day who still work with said boss, and they too are experiencing the same as I did (yes she’s still around) but what can I say, every candidate who has come out of that company has generally been sh* hot at their job and are able to handle any situation thrown at them. In events, that’s certainly a BIG skill that is needed.
So I need to say it, THANK YOU dear bully boss for making my life hell, you taught me a thing or two along the way and probably many others. Lets just hope that somewhere along the line those you have bullied have taught you a thing or two too.
Post kindly supplied by Elly Walsh Events Recruitment Specialist at I am Recruitment