Podcast: Managing New or Failed Office Romances | Overcoming Jealousy At Work
Relationships At Work
Given how much time we spend at the office, it’s not surprising that many love relationships begin there. Rather than being led exclusively by your heart, we have to remember that it’s important to involve your head when it comes to how a workplace relationship plays out.
To avoid problems, check with your human resources department to learn about your company’s office romance policy, as well as any applicable local and state laws. HR can give you the information you need in order to be compliant.
Assuming company policy and local laws are on your side, early on, discuss with your partner how you’ll interact while in the office. Take extreme care not to fan the flames of favoritism or inappropriate decision-making – especially if one of you reports to the other. Be prepared for handling gossip. No matter how careful or secretive you think you’re being, your relationship will be a topic of conversation among your co-workers.
Navigating A Failed Office Relationship
Emotions can be particularly intense when you end an office romance, especially if you must continue interacting with your ex. Above all else, remain professional if you intend to stay with the company.
After the breakup, if you manage your ex-partner, take great care not to behave in ways that can be interpreted as discriminatory. The slightest hint of retaliation can lead to grievances or claims of harassment. Don’t speak disparagingly about your ex to anyone in the office – even if they do. Manage your emotions. Consciously choose to take the high road.
If there is bad blood between the two of you, talk about it. Find ways to maintain your workplace relationship, in the face of ending your personal relationship. Address this potential problem early before things spiral into an ugly, office-wide distraction that impacts productivity and trust. Don’t let a nasty personal feud hijack your professional reputation and credibility.
How to Overcome Jealousy of A Co-Worker’s Achievements
Do your negative feelings hamper your productivity? Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that envy or jealousy can affect us for days, severely depleting our ability to problem-solve and negotiate.
Envy at work can drain the emotional resources you need to complete daily tasks. The next time you find yourself dwelling on a coworker’s promotion or recognition, notice how it gets in the way of doing your job. Once you learn to recognize the impact of being envious, you can consciously choose to shift your focus from your negative thoughts to self-improvement. After all, that’s a good route to earning the attention that the others are getting. You work against yourself by moping or spreading tales of unfair treatment.
You always have within you to the ability to manage your thoughts, which trigger your emotions. Redirecting your thoughts will restore your energy, allowing you to reclaim the mental sharpness needed to excel.