Tit For Tat

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Every human being wants and needs to feel important, so it is inevitable that when people work long hours in close environments something will happen that may spark a power struggle. Simple matters can appear to take on a life of their own because of the different personalities involved.

Whether you're fighting with a colleague who took credit for your work or you were excluded from a meeting that was important, be strategic in your approach to resolving the issue.

Assess the situation.
Before you engage in any power plays, evaluate the different ways to resolve the issue and choose the best one. Consider each plan of action and know what you want the outcome to be, and then act.

Seek advice.
Get counsel from an experienced, well-respected business mentor. Listen attentively and try to see all sides of the issue.

Don't take it personally.
Business is a game and everyone wants to win. Unfortunately, some people want to win even if it means cheating, backbiting, and engaging in unethical behavior.

Be professional and stay calm.
Power struggles are a test of your problem-solving and leadership skills. If you lose your composure you've already lost the game.

Familiarize yourself with personality types.
Study your personality type and those of your colleagues so you can understand yourself better, build alliances, and influence people.

Ramp up your self-confidence.
Power struggles can pull at the fabric of your character if you allow them to. If you are not careful, the negative self-talk that often follows a power struggle can make the most capable, qualified person believe that he cannot survive.

Is it worth it?
Sometimes the struggle is so petty it's not worth the effort. Take the high road, especially when the problem is based on childish gossip or fighting over insignificant things.

Know your company protocol.
Be aware of company policies regarding certain issues because fixing a problem can sometimes be as easy as referring to the company guidelines. Consider involving a third neutral party when necessary.

KAREN S. HINDS is an author, consultant, and founder of Karen Hinds Seminars, an international company with operations in the Caribbean and the USA that combines her American business savvy with Caribbean hospitality and British style and grace. Karen's acclaimed seminars give her audiences a competitive edge in their businesses and careers by teaching management and staff how to improve their behavior and interactions with others to build more productive relationships - in and out of the workplace. You can reach Karen at http://www.workplacesuccess.com


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