In the new year, follow golden-rule behavior at work


January 09, 1994|By Niki Scott | Niki Scott,Universal Press Syndicate

We work together, slave together, struggle and laugh DTC together, share our triumphs and our defeats. We are co-workers. Colleagues. Sometimes we are friends. Sometimes we're not.

Now that we've made our personal New Year's resolutions for 1994, here are pledges that each of us can make in the interest of fostering better relationships with those people with whom we spend the majority of our waking hours, our work "families":

* I will not divulge one word of anything you say to me in confidence. Never. Not one word. Not once.

* If my feelings are hurt, I'll tell you exactly how I feel -- and why -- using sentences that start with "I" instead of "you" or worse yet, "You always . . . " or "You never . . . "

* I will no longer stand in front of your desk and read your mail upside down, although I spent years perfecting this skill for just this purpose.

* I will not only refuse to spread gossip of any kind about you, but will refuse to listen to this sort of poison, as well, even if this means changing the subject abruptly or leaving the room.

* I'll remember that while we may be friends at work, our prime consideration must be to get the job done, and neither of us has the time or inclination to listen endlessly to the other's anecdotes or problems.

* I will not eat pickled herring and garlic sandwiches at my desk.

* I'll remember at all times that you and I are part of a team and will collaborate willingly with you and eagerly share any credit that comes our way.

* I will never, never steal an idea from you.

* I will put in my fair share of overtime and working on holidays -- even if I'm married and/or a parent and you're not. I will not assume that just because you're single and/or childless, your time obligations and personal life are any less important than mine.

* I will not bound over to your desk the day after you've broken up with your boy- (girl-) friend and announce that I've fixed you up with someone in the shipping department who has a great sense of humor.

* I'll respect each of the talents, skills and attributes you bring to our mutual endeavors and will do my best to let you know how much I appreciate them instead of feeling threatened by them.

* I won't ask you to lie for me -- not even little lies or white lies -- because when I do this for you, I feel as uncomfortable and ashamed as I would if I were doing it on my own behalf.

* I won't steal the pencils from your pencil pot or the paper clips from your desk because this is a violation of your territory -- and I hate it when you riffle through my personal, private collection of rubber bands and push pins.

* When something goes wrong in our office, I won't start looking for someone to blame. I'll just fix it.

* I won't bear a grudge. You and I are adults. We can work out our differences in an honest, straightforward manner without going away mad, talking about -- instead of to -- one another, sniping and sneering, or sabotaging each other in sneaky, underhanded ways.

* Finally, I'll remind you -- often -- of all the things you do right, and the reasons I feel privileged to work with you. Everyone needs positive input, after all, and given the attitudes of most bosses, we'd better start giving it to each other.

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