Ellen Goldhar on workplace relationships
JOB TALK ONLINE CHAT with ELLEN GOLDHAR
Are you involved with your manager?
Getting a little close with your co-workers?
Are you involved with your manager? Getting a little close with your co-workers?
Check out Career Connection's next Job Talk online chat to discover the importance of workplace relationships.
Ellen Goldhar, manager of people development at Sun Media Corporation, will be on hand to answer all your questions building effective relationships in the workplace.
Discover how to get connected to the people you work with, to maintain positive working relationships and to make those relationships work to your advantage.
Date: Wednesday Sept. 18
Time: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
You may submit advance questions below.
Moderator: Sharon Aschaiek: Welcome to today's sizzling chat about workplace relationships. Today, Ellen Goldhar, manager of people development at Sun Media and Job Talk columnist for Career Connection, will discuss how to manage all kinds of relationships in the workplace. We're ready for your questions.
Hi Ellen, I don't respect my superior, but unfortunately I
have to work in close contact with him. He's always kidding
around with me and asking me to do extra curricular
activities with him. How do I keep saying no without
hurting his feelings and subsequently hurting my career?
Ellen Goldhar: Hello Steven. I am not one for a lot of office politics, but this situation involves paying attention to some of them. Without knowing what it is that you don't respect about your boss...as long as it's not immoral, illegal or abusive, spending some time with him is probably a good idea. However, your time after work is your time and no one in the workplace has the right to infringe upon it. Try to spend time with him where you are in a group and don't have to deal with him one-on-one.You can also explain to him that you have other obligations and interests after work.
Hi Ellen, there is this woman at work whom I find very
attractive. We're in different departments, but she is
higher on the corporate ladder than me. We speak on a 'hi
how are you' basis. Is it appropriate for me to ask her out
eventhough we work on the same project sometimes?
Ellen Goldhar: Good afternoon Gus. Matters of the heart in the office can be very tricky. I get asked this kind of question a lot, which is why I chose this sort of question to answer in my column today in the Sun's Career Connection, so you should check it out. In a nutshell though, it's tricky, especially if you are working on projects together. If things don't work out then it can be awkward for both of you and difficult for both of you to continue to work together. And if it does work out, then it can create jealousy and accusations of favouritism amongst your co-workers. I'd think this one over carefully and be sure it's really worth putting things on the line.
I work in a corporate office where some of the men make me
feel uncomfortable. they don't say anything rude, or touch
me, but it's simply the way they look at me...like they're
hungry. Am I justified in speaking out?
Ellen Goldhar: Hi Samantha. You are absolutely justified in speaking out! If you are feeling it and experiencing it then it exists. Everyone has the right to come to work and feel safe and free from harrassment. I recommend addressing it directly with the individuals you are experiencing it with first. If it continues or gets worse then take it up with your manager/human resources. It's not a bar, it's a place of work and respect is mandatory!
This guy in my office clearly does not shower enough. He
stinks! Can I say anything to him about it? Or would that
Ellen Goldhar: Well Pravin...that really does stink! Although these kinds of conversations can be extremely awkward, I recommend talking to him about it - the problem won't go away on its own. When you are working with others good hygiene is important. It's no different than someone wearing too much colonge or perfume...the bottom line it's distracting, annoying and counterproductive. Try to be discrete and considerate about it, but let them know. Besides, you really are being a good friend by telling them as I am sure others notice the smell too and you will spare them from future embarrassment.
This guy in my office has loud, personal phone calls often.
Sometimes he is practically shouting. It makes the office a
little uncomfortable. What should I do?
Ellen Goldhar: Hello Angel. Ah, the loud talker problem....there's one in almost every office. There really is only one thing you can do and that is tell them to either speak softer or conduct his personal business on a phone outside the building or in a private location, i.e. someone's office.
I'm getting along really well with this woman I work
with... there's a lot of flirting... but she's married....
I kinda think she wants to make a move, but is afraid to...
I'm hesitant to make a move only because she's married... I
don't want to offend her just in case I'm misreading the
flirting... who should make the move first? Or should
anyone be making a move in the first place?
Ellen Goldhar: Dear Mr.Doe....nobody move! Not only do you run the risks of normal office dating, (see my Job Talk column today in the Sun's Career Connection), but you run many other risks by getting involved with a married woman. Some people are just flirtatious in nature and don't really intend to have things go further. But even if she is sincerely interested - she's MARRIED! This is the kind of stuff office gossip thrives on....don't be the victim who feeds it.
I have a new manager, and we can't seem to be able to break
the ice. Do you have any suggestions?
Ellen Goldhar: Greetings Mabel. Developing a good relationship with your boss is important,but it doesn't mean you have to be hanging out together all the time. Try to promote conversation with them whenever you have a chance. Look for things you have in common to speak about. If nothing else, you can speak about work-related issues. Your goal is to develop professional chemistry - it doesn't has to be personal chemistry. Give it time though. Also, your good work and a good work ethic will go a long way to building a good relationship. Your boss wants to look good and if can help him do that, they will most likely look upon you favourably.
I have a co-worker who's a bit of a loner. He always keeps
to himself, never comes out on company functions. We work
in a very small department and it gets awkward at times.
Should I address him about it?
Ellen Goldhar: Hi Cheryl. There are just some people who aren't comfortable in social situations and avoid them. They also might have other obligations that no one is aware of. However, I always believe speaking up and addressing issues is always the best policy. They may have no idea of the impact their behaviour is having on the team and the perceptions that are being developed about them.
Ellen Goldhar: Unfortunatley our time is up. Relationships in whatever capacity can be challenging, but since we don't live alone on this planet and most of us don't work alone we need to learn how to get along. Hope you got some helpful hints on how to do that. Thanks for tuning in and hope you'll join us again for our next chat on Oct. 23. Cheers, Ellen.
Moderator: Sharon Aschaiek: Thanks for tuning in, and for your questions. See you next time!
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