Self-Assessment Quiz – True or False:
- I am a genuine person at work.
- I give praise where praise is due, and I don’t try to steal other’s thunder.
- I listen more than I talk.
- I am engaging and open with my co-workers.
Last week I talked about how important it is for you to love what you do. Well, that got me to thinkin’ about on-the-job haters because haters could be a for-sure deterrent that keeps you from loving where you work.
I’ve had some amazing jobs that could have been ruined by a hater or two had I let them. And no matter how much I may have answered TRUE to the questions above, there were still people who didn’t like me (Gasp! IKR? Unthinkable!) But, one thing I know for sure:
And it’s only a matter of time, if you’ve avoided them thus far in your career, before you run into one. So it’s better I send you out into the world prepped to handle them with aplomb. (Yes, as always, you can thank me later).
You’re going to have haters at work either because you’re new, you’re old, or you do too good a job. These are silly reasons, but NOT to the hater. Also, these are reasons that are really out of your control, right? I mean the crux of the matter is that haters hating on you is rarely about you, and often about them and their insecurities. You can’t help being the new person. You can’t help having been kept on for the long haul because you’re fabulous. And you certainly won’t stop doing great, praise-worthy work. What you can do is be aware of the flavor of hater-ade your hater is sipping on.
Do your homework. Does the hater give everyone a huff and a side eye, or is the venom laser focused on just you? If it’s everyone, then the hater could be suffering from one of two maladies: they aren’t quite comfortable in their own skin, doing what they do, so like a drowning man they want to pull you under with them by criticizing everything you do. Or, they are just unhappy in their work environment. (Read last week’s post on not loving what you do! If you stay around too long in a job you hate, YOU could become this type of hater. So GET OUT!)
If she’s only throwing shade your way, you have to up your wattage in her direction.
Take some extra time to talk to her, like while getting coffee in the break room together or before that conference call starts. Yes, I said TALK TO THE HATER! Genuinely. Get to know who she is. What her likes are. What she does outside the office. How she spends her free time. How she got started. So that she, in turn, can get to know you, too. She may see that you’re not the haughty know-it-all that she’s pegged you to be, but rather a kind, strong, and smart person. And you might learn that she was passed over for your job THREE times. So it’s not you per se she’s hating on, just the fact that you got the job she’s been hankering for.
Inclusion also works well for dealing with certain haters. If you’re used to batting things out of the park solo, maybe take a few side steps to allow him in by seeking him out specifically for his opinion or direction. Free up your thinking. Haters have good ideas, too, but you have to be open and receptive to hearing them. Up your team-player skills just a notch. That may be enough for this hater to really start lovin’ some you. (Or at least, hating you a bit less.)
The jealous-monger haters are the worst kind of haters. They want to be YOU. But they don’t have the skill set, tenacity, charisma, or capacity TO BE you. And even worse, they don’t have the desire to put in the work that’s needed to be you. So, they try to take shortcut claims to your fame, like taking your ideas and announcing them as their own or attaching their name (and sometimes photo) to work that you’ve done. They get the acclaim without having put in the sweat equity that you and your team put in.
Like body snatchers, these smile-in-your-face haters may fool some of the people some of the time with their clone-like behavior, but not for long. When things you’ve handled smoothly suddenly start falling through the cracks, when deadlines are constantly missed, when your hater goes MIA for undefined periods of time, people will notice. And the beauty of dealing with haters like this? You often won’t have to say a word. Others will out them for you! So, if your haters are just hating because they aren’t, well … you, do NOT ever hide your shine so they can feel better about themselves. You just keep being you.
Always be kind. Always be helpful. And always keep loving what you do. No hater can take that away from you unless you allow them to.