Posted by: healingtheworkplace | January 23, 2010

Stop Sabotaging Yourself At Work

Hi there,

Sometimes when things are not going well at work we are quick to blame others. If only they would change! If only they would leave us alone! If only they would find work somewhere else! If only!

But what if we are at fault?

Last week, Vancouver Sun columnists and psychologists, Jennifer Newman and Darryl Grigg, wrote about how we often sabotage ourselves at work. 

Newman and Grigg identified the following six common behaviors that get in the way of having a happy and a healthy workplace:

  • harboring resentments (if someone or something bugs you do something about it…NOW!)
  • defensiveness (if someone is trying to tell you something…listen! Don’t get defensive)
  • negative self-talk (this is one that can undermine your self-confidence)
  • ledger keeping (stop comparing yourself to others–this relates to #1 harbouring resentments)
  • feuds and grudges (if you have a legitimate reason to be afraid try and talk with your boss or someone from human resources…holding grudges will create stress and will lead to more unhappiness.
  • fears (what is holding you back?)

Newman and Grigg recommend that if we are experiencing any of the above that we stop and make changes in our lives.

This, of course, is excellent advice.

But, as most of us probably know, changing our behavior is not easy. In fact, it can be downright impossible if we don’t know how we are behaving in the first place.

I’ve been interested in how people change for a long time (no I won’t tell you how old I am:) 

The first challenge that we face when trying to modify or stop our self- sabotaging behaviors is RECOGNIZING them.

According to Dr. Christian Guenette, “the majority of your life (up to 95%) is experienced at the level of the subconscious”.

So, what can we do?

The Johari Window is one tool that is often used in workplaces to help people to find out what their blind spots are. Blind spots are those behaviors that are unknown to us.

The Johari Window was created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955.

The “window” has four panes in it:

  • known to self and known to others (makes it easier to change if you are willing to accept some feedback)
  • known to self but not known to others (things you want kept secret)
  • not known to self but known to others (your blind spots)
  • not know to self and not known to others (hmmmm)

If you go to Wikipedia and search for Johari Window you will find some instructions on how to use this in the workplace.

Enjoy your weekend!



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