Posted by: healingtheworkplace | February 15, 2009

Myths About the Workplace

Hello again!

There are so many things that I could write about this week but I’m going to take the easy route and “borrow” some ideas from an article that was published in the Vancouver Sun on August 2, 2008. The article was written by Stephanie Whittaker who is a regular contributer to the Sun.

Here are 9 workplace myths that might surprise you:

Myth #1. To Be Productive You Have to Be Charged Up.

There must be something in this because I was told by my boss the bully that I would not (could not) make a good leader because I was not (am not?) an extrovert.

Since then I’ve read that the best leaders are actually introverts because they take the time to STOP and REFLECT on what is going on.

The same is true for productivity. According to Stephen Schettini of Mind Seminars we make more mistakes when we are “overly pumped and not able to think things through”.

Myth #2. You Have to be Friends with Your Co-workers. This is an interesting one.

Stephanie quotes Gerry Smith, VP of organizational health at Shepell-fgi. In response to the question, “Do I have to be best friends with everyone I work with?”

Mr. Smith responds,

“In fact, you don’t. Friends are people with whom we have common bonds, which make us want to spend time with them. Good friends nourish our souls. I don’t expect co-workers to do that.”

Well, although Mr. Smith has a valid point in that we DON’T have to be friends with the people we work I would have to disagree with the rest of his comment.

Most of us spend a large percentage of our lives in the workplace. I think that it would only make sense that we would work with people who share some of the same values, interests, and other things that we might have in common.

Naturally this would lead to the formation of friendships. In a couple of previous posts I wrote about the value of having a friend or friends working along with you.

Myth #3. We Have Freedom of Speech at Work. This deserves a separate post but for now I’m going to respond to Mr. Smith’s comments again. In this case Smith is right in saying that “we cannot freely express our opinions openly on topics that may be offensive to some.”

I’ll write more about respect, harassment and discrimination in a future post.

Myth #4. Employers are Paying a Lot of Money to Hire People with University Degrees.

Apparently not! Enough said.

Myth #5. You Can’t Change Things Including Glitches in Processes and Procedures in the Workplace.

Hmmm these people obviously haven’t heard about the Change Initiatives Team at Providence Health Care!

Myth #6. People Leave Jobs and Go to Other Employers for More Money.

Something I was reminded of this past week. 

RESPECT is more important than money and people will often take a lower salary to work for someone they RESPECT and who in turn treats them with respect.

Myth #7. Managers Don’t Care About the Little Guy (Gal?).

I can see where this myth comes from. In today’s organizations managers are busy and have large numbers of people reporting to them. Has employee recognition become a thing of the past?

Myth #8. You Have to Put Work Before Everything Else in Order to Succeed.

Not necessarily but if you want to advance in your career you will probably have to work REALLY hard at least when you first start out. Having said that you will also want to have a balanced life…so don’t put work before everything else. Keep work in perspective.

Myth #9. We’re More Accessible and Available Than in the Past AND We Work Longer Hours.

I think that this depends on the individual. If you take your Blackberry on vacation and check your work emails every day you will be accessible and you will also be less productive.

Enough about the workplace. It’s a SUNNY Sunday afternoon. Time to play!




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