Relationships at work and earlier, at school, have most of the times been a tricky business for me. On the one hand I have clearly seen that the relationships have been superficial, that I have been put together with these individuals involuntarily, and that it is hence less than likely that I would be able to connect and develop a deep and substantial relationship. On the other hand, I have also seen that it is up to me what I make out of the relationship, and I have as well desired to be likable, popular, and have ‘many friends’. The problem with the latter is that in order to have ‘many friends’ – I am required to be a social chameleon and literally change myself depending on who I am interacting with in order to assure a positive response from the other person.
At this stage, I find neither of these approaches very satisfying, because I do want to get to know my colleagues, understand them, learn from them, and utilize my time at work to live and stand as an example – and hence if possible assist and support my colleagues to make a change within their lives for the better. However, I also want to be stable and grounded and not become obsessed about maintaining and worrying about how others see me, whether I am receiving the right remarks or not. In other words, I want to be the maker of my relationships, I want to establish the principles from which I approach office relationships, and I want to make the best out of it and not lose my integrity or sense of self in the process.
One point that I have applied that works very well for me, especially in moments where I feel that the relationships at work are not offering the desired depth and substance, is that I look at the words my colleagues are embodying that I in turn could take on and live in my life. This application is interesting, because in slowing down and really looking at the expression of my colleagues, the words they are sharing does not matter as much, rather it is their entire expression, how they come through in their entirety, that becomes important. And in this I have been able to see how I am able to live new words in my life. For example, one of my colleagues is very much light-hearted yet still intense and focused. She carries herself with ease, yet is very much focused and intensely invested in whatever she is participating within. Another one of my colleagues is serious, deep, principled and courageous; she stands by a few principles and ideas and does not hesitate to voice herself. Yet another one is fearless and unworried as to what others thinks of her – she does not allow hierarchies and what is ‘right and wrong’ stand in her way of creating what she see’s would be best for herself.
Hence – I can learn a lot from my colleagues, that is for certain. However, it is also important to remember the primary reason as to why I am at the office – which is to be a part of the organization and participate in moving the organization to fulfill its intended purpose/responsibility in the world system. As with any company and organization, there are many, many people dependent on my daily effort and the effectiveness of the organization as a whole – which is why it is integral to make sure that office relationships does not take the upper hand – but that I remain focused on my primary responsibilities – my primary purpose – and where I MATTER the most to myself, others and the organization as a whole.
In the Eqafe interview Behind the Scenes of Office Politics – Life Review – it is suggested to align office relationships according the following principles (I have made some additions based on my own experience in applying the suggestions in the interview):
- Investigate and research how your position in the organization interrelates to those of your colleagues – and then make sure that what takes priority is tending to and directing your responsibilities in the organization. Then systematically align your relationships in the organization according to what is of primary importance and keep the bigger picture in mind – where it is about the having the organization move and fulfill its purpose.
- Always keep a clean slate with your colleagues – push to be the best that you can be; do not accept and allow gossip and reactive behavior from yourself regardless of how others are against you. Remember that what others say or do defines who they are – not you.
- Do not develop personal relationships with people that accept and allow gossiping or other forms of nasty or destructive behavior – keep it systematic instead. Make the decision to align with people that you see care about their work, that care about doing the best that they can do, that care about expanding themselves – and that want to improve themselves and their future career prospects. Utilize such relationships to empower yourself and the other – to learn more – to give more – to mutually expand – to mutually become better – and to in the end – improve and empower the organization as a whole.
- Learn from ALL of your colleagues. If you react, be grateful, and bring that reaction back to self, investigate it, find the origin and correct the point. See, realize and understand that ALL colleagues have something to offer in terms of showing you an expression/application/skill that you are able to copy and apply in your own life to empower yourself. Hence – even though you systematize relationships – be open to learn from and see who and how others are within themselves.
For anyone struggling with office relationships, or that are interested in improving them, and acquiring some sound principles as to how to approach and direct them, I also suggest the following interview:
Learn more about this way of living
- 7 Year Journey To Life Process: People Sharing their Processes of Self-Forgiveness and Self-Correction
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