How Not to Deal with Business Associates

By Paula Santonocito

In other words, it’s not all about your struggles in the world. Keep this in mind when asking for time off because chances are your boss thinks in these terms.

Being too nice and too accommodating. Because single women often seek to expand their circle of friends, they have a tendency to be pushovers when it comes to helping others.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t pitch in at work or lend assistance to coworkers. But if you feel as though you keep getting dumped on or that you have no time for your own work and life, it’s time to just say no.

That’s right, no, as in I would like to help but unfortunately my plate is full.

Making assumptions. Single women are not the only ones who make assumptions that turn out to be incorrect. Here again though, because they lack the benefit of someone else’s compass, that trusty sounding board at home, they may find themselves confused when navigating murky waters of the job.

How do you get around making incorrect assumptions?

You ask. That’s right, as in speak up. The only way you can get a clear picture of what is truly happening is to get the facts.

Even if you think you have great instincts, when it comes to important matters related to your career, get those instincts confirmed.

This is especially true when it comes to other people. Don’t assume you know what your boss thinks or how your assistant feels. You could be very wrong.

Avoiding responsibility. Single women, who are often their sole source of support, tend to be conscientious workers. After all, they need the income.

Even so, while focusing on the immediate, they can lose sight of the long-term.

Are you thinking about your job in the context of your career? Is your eye on the next move? Are you planning accordingly by acquiring the education and skills necessary for advancement?

As important, are you conveying your goals to your boss and others who can provide assistance?

If not, you’re avoiding taking responsibility for your career. You’re also running the risk of being viewed as complacent, which could translate to being overlooked for promotions.

Avoiding confrontation. Why do women typically avoid confrontation at work? Part of it is ingrained: Nice girls don’t rock the boat. Granted, you don’t want to be branded as a troublemaker and yes, confrontation can be stressful. Still, you don’t want to be adrift.

In other words, to have a successful career you must take the helm. This means there will be times when you have to address situations and people.

Choose your battles carefully, but when your career advancement, reputation or day-to-day job satisfaction is on the line, don’t be afraid to confront the situation.

Remember, pushovers aren’t viewed as leaders; pushovers get passed over.

Do any of these mistakes sound familiar? The good news is, now that you know how not to deal with business associates, you can put yourself on a path to better workplace interaction—and a more successful career.

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