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Biting sarcasm...Comes Back to Bite

Tags:  Career advice, Co-Workers, Jerks at work, Sarcasm

Timing is everything. This is especially true when it comes to what you do and say at work. Just because you are friendly with your coworkers, doesn't mean you have the same relationship with them as you would with long-time personal friends.

That means it is important to consider not only your behavior, but also your words when you are interacting with your work team mates. A comment or joke that might be acceptable between you and your best friend may be totally inappropriate when it comes to a coworker.

Want to know how to as well as how not to behave? Follow these Guideposts:

1. Know who you are talking to; edit remarks accordingly

Jumping into a conversation and speaking without thinking are major workplace blunders. But they don't have to happen.

Before you say what's on your mind, know who you are talking to. Don't assume that everyone has the same sense of humor or appreciates the same point of view.

Listen for a while to gauge the mood of the conversation and get to know a little bit more about the participants. Even if your natural inclination is to make wisecracks and jokes about a situation, pull in the reins until you know your audience.

2. Support the company in your remarks to others; avoid negativity even if it feels good to use it

It comes as no surprise that not everyone is happy about every decision their company makes. We all have our gripes and complaints. However, openly grousing about company policies or decisions is a sure-fire way to get into career trouble if it gets back to the wrong person.

Maybe you aren't onboard with every idea; however, instead of voicing your opinion through open dissention or snide, backhanded remarks, choose to go along for the ride or bite you tongue and say nothing.

At some point if you have clear, constructive suggestions on how to improve on an idea then go through the proper channels to be heard. And do it in a positive, supportive and professional manner.

3. If you screw up, accept that it is now your job to rebuild the trust of your co-workers

The difficulty with trust is that it can take only a moment to tear down what can take a very long time to build. So you need to carefully consider your words and actions before you do or say anything that will destroy a coworker's trust.

While the best choice would be to prevent mistakes from the start, if you find yourself in the awkward position of having to rebuild the trust of your coworkers, take ownership and do it.

Be a professional. Apologize, if necessary. Assure your team mates it won't happen again. And then develop a personal plan of how to hold up your end of the deal by taking active steps to prevent any future mishaps.

Keep in mind that sarcasm may be funny to you and your close friends, but not everyone feels the same. Get to know your audience before you speak. Otherwise you might just wind up with your foot in your mouth.



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