Why are you at work?

Couple of things this week gave me reason to pause and think about relationships at work. The first came from reading the Chemistry Group review of this week’s Apprentice task on the HR Zone blog. Even if you don’t watch the show, it’s worth reading their blog. It’s spot on with their observations and quite witty too. In that post, they talked about the concept of ‘fellowship’. Have a quick read. Go on, I’ll wait.

Right, welcome back. So the other thing that made me think about relationships at work is about the allegiances we choose to have. Actually, let me say that one differently. The allegiances we choose to have with those we think have power. We can all think of people who fall into this trap. You’ve probably fallen into this trap and only realised after you’ve moved on – or they’ve moved on – how unvaluable a relationship it was.

Here’s the thing. You are at work for your reasons, and for your own goals. These fellowships and allegiances won’t help that. They may make the day seem more bearable in some way, but they certainly aren’t helping you achieve your potential. But the people falling into the traps of placing greater importance on them than they should don’t get that.

Let me be clear about this. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have fellowships and allegiances. I’m saying that if you want to be successful at work, there are two key criteria that will enable this. The first is an excellent line manager who knows how to bring out the best in you. The second is your own understanding and development of emotional intelligence. Couple those together and you’re onto a winning formula that is spouted out in management books with different hooks and angles.

I’ve always been pretty good at spotting the falseness of fellowships and allegiances, and have only chosen to socialise with those that add value to my life. And that’s the key for me. Within the workplace, we should only look to socialise with those that add value to our lives. That’s what you’ll remember when you’ve moved on to other workplaces. Fellowships and allegiances leave a bad taste in your mouth.


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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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