Compliments of Andreas-photography via Flickr

Do you inquire into things that have nothing to do with your sphere of influence?

Some of you may remember the character Mrs. Kravitz, from the television show Bewitched. She was constantly snooping into her neighbor’s affairs (as if she didn’t have a life of her own). How often at work do we encounter someone of similar tenor?

 These individuals appear to not know (or care) how they come across. Their projection assumes colleagues are either incompetent or up to no good.  

Officiousness is a facet of narcissism – regarding other people as an extension of oneself. Before sticking your nose into someone else’s business, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this something I need to know?
  • Is the person to whom I’m speaking adult enough to handle their own business?
  • How will this intrusion inform the operation of my work team?
  • Will I come across as accusatory and judgmental?
  • Do others welcome my probing questions and prying manner?
  • How will I be perceived when I behave in a meddlesome fashion?
  • What business is this of mine?
  • How will the whole benefit as a result of my interference?

Overly directive behavior achieves nothing but the control (and frustration) of another person. When the office becomes an extension of yourself, a fort to be protected at all costs, then perhaps you have lost your perspective.

Some receive a positive jolt from controlling other people – the equivalent of feeling important and superior when giving a ticket. Over control is a workplace way of putting someone in the one down position, and of stomping on their persona. Remember when speaking that it’s a conversation and not an incursion.

Today, be the behavioral beacon in a sea of uncivil display. Don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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