Probably one of the most unpleasant things to experience or witness in the office space is hostility. In fact, any kind of hostility of any kind in any type of business, office-based or not, is a total pain. Why people? Why? Why engage in such idiocies when everyone has to work together and share their same space. It totally blows me away that this comes up, but sadly it does and when it does it has to be handled and addressed properly. A pain indeed, but one of those pains that need to be confronted and faced down sooner rather than later.
I actually rarely see office or workplace hostility come up. I don’t think it’s as common as people say it is, or as common as some people try to convince others that it is. But that might be just me. I’m sure it differs a lot on a job to job type of basis, meaning that some types of jobs and some lines of work might be more inclined to have office space hostility than others will. That’s all probably quite true, but that doesn’t mean that any kind of hostility in any business should be tolerated.
Tackling Office Hostility and Putting It Down
Here’s what I have to say about workplace hostility, “NO.” Simple as that. To go more in depth, here are some tips for handling and addressing office hostility that I’ve found to be workable:
- Make sure that the person who is doing it knows that it is very much so not okay. Sometimes this is all it takes. Just letting someone know that it is not okay is all that it takes to get them to stop doing it. Let them know, and be pretty firm about it.
- If you don’t want to do that, then just don’t respond. Don’t respond to the office hostility, just don’t. Completely ignore it. If you can’t or don’t want to tell the person to stop, then anything else you might say could just fuel the flame, so don’t say anything at all.
- Speaking of that, whatever you do, don’t get all fired up and be hostile back. Then your position within the company could be at stake too. You don’t want or need that kind of drama in your life.
- Don’t be afraid to stand up to the person in the right way. Going further than point #1 of telling them that it is not okay would be to tell them that, and to go on to explain why it is not okay. Keep your calm and remain composed and relaxed, but doing this can also really gain you a lot of respect in the company and cause others, including your seniors, to look at you in an entirely different way.
- Go to the boss. Don’t buy into the tattle-tale nonsense. If someone is causing hospitality, the head honcho needs to know about it so that corrective action be taken. If you are the head honcho, then you need to have a talk with the person and let them know exactly what’s going to happen if they continue to act and perform in that way.
- Understand, acknowledge, and find the real reason. Ever have someone just go off all of a sudden and be really hostile, even though they had never done something like that before and it is actually quite surprising that they did that? Nine times out of ten, there will be something else really unpleasant or something else that’s a real bummer in that person’s life that caused the situation to occur. Find it, address it, and help them work through it, and they probably will never cause hostility again.
I get that the workplace can be stressful. I get that hostility can occur. I get that life can be tough, and that people can often not want to confront these types of issues. I get all of that. But that is no reason at all to allow hostility to continue in the workplace. No reason at all!