Have you ever been mobbed, unfairly dismissed or demoted at your workplace? I experienced the first two whilst living in Germany and both times led to litigation. Not only did I feel unfairly treated but quite helpless. The self-confidence I had so painstakingly built up was, figuratively speaking, trampled on and kicked aside.
Moreover, my difficulties at work affected my health and personal life. Although I complained to friends and family alike that “It’s just not fair”, my voice at the workplace became smaller and my performance suffered immensely.
Different country, different rules. Therefore, I knew it would be in my best interests to attend the NETWORK’s event “How to Bullet Proof your Career” hosted by Badenoch & Clark on the 20 June. It was the second of a three-part series on Professional Development.
Lesson #1: you have options
Michael di Felice’s presentation was like a big breakfast bowl of “All-Bran” cereal. A lot to digest, not entirely palatable, however, excellent for our health! The one juicy fact that nestled between all the fibres of legal jargon like a prize cranberry was that anyone can join a union here and usually does. For as little as EUR 120 annually you can sign up. In case of ligation, the union takes care of everything.
In light of this important discovery, I would like to embellish a quote from Michael Kors. He once said: “I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit”. Ladies, forget the designer handbags and shoes if you want to accessorise your outfits – join a union (more details here).
Lesson #2: Identify pain-points and speak up!
After exploring the different types of conflict, Petra Buderus, the second speaker, reminded us of other options open during conflict e.g. conferring with other colleagues, contacting mobbing hotlines, approaching the offender’s superior. We have then participated in a very lively, interactive and enjoyable session to identify the main reasons that lead to conflicts within the work environment. I wasn’t surprised to learn that according to a survey undertaken in 2008, in the UK, the chemistry between two people is a deciding factor i.e. if two people don’t gel, then they’ll most likely be hell! This confirmed my experiences.
We have closed the evening with a most welcome glass of Crémant and nibbles. What fortified me more though than the refreshments, was the knowledge I had gained by attending this event. So as the fading light swallowed me up as I biked home I sang, loud and clear with self-confidence.
This article is a contribution from our member, Caylea Young. Caylea is a freelance rhetoric coach and Distinguished Toastmaster.