No one says that working is a pleasure, but there is an abyss between assuming it as an important – and even potentially happy – part of life and it becoming real torture. And it is that there are times that, despite having a vocational job with a fair wage –both monetary and emotional–, the days in the office can become hell and, let’s face it, the fault could be of the colleagues. If we take into account the number of hours we spend in our workplace, it seems logical to think that the relationships we maintain in that space are going to mark, to a large extent, our degree of happiness – or unhappiness – daily.
There will be selfish, shy, inquiring, lacking in grace colleagues… But of all the profiles with which we can get to live, there is one that is especially difficult to deal with, it is about those who put more effort into telling their supposed achievements than in materializing them. . That is to say, smoke sellers who may enjoy some recognition from their superiors but who do not solve or produce good results.
“It is very common to put all kinds of labels on our co-workers and most of them tend to have negative connotations,” says Maite Gómez Checa, partner, and director of the CORAOPS Institute and an expert in Leadership and Organizational Well-being (MCC). “ Our brain is designed to detect the negative aspects of a person for a simple matter of survival, but an office should not be a jungle, full of dangers. In my opinion, the most toxic behavior is that of those male and female bosses who allow certain harmful attitudes to reign supreme, ”she says.
For Gema Campos, a psychologist and coach specializing in HR, there are unequivocal signs to detect this type of profile. “They are people who only talk about themselves and, even if you don’t ask them, they will tell you what interests them. They occupy a large part of the conversation, which will always revolve around them, and they constantly justify what they have done and what they have not done, ”she explains.
Even though some professionals say they do not consider the workspace as a place to make friends and many others point out that they do not need the collaboration of their colleagues to adequately carry out their tasks, reality shows the opposite. A recent Linkedin study reveals that having good labor relations is synonymous with happiness for 46% of workers. In addition, according to the same study, establishing good relationships with both colleagues and superiors is key to motivation and productivity, fundamental aspects of the company. However, this is not always possible.
This is the case of Marina, a 43-year-old lawyer who had to face a fellow expert in keeping up appearances. “He connected at odd hours, he answered emails almost immediately (without providing solutions, yes), he offered help when the tasks were already completed… For several years I dealt with it as best I could but in the end, I decided to talk to my superior to explain the situation. The result was disastrous, and not precisely for my colleague who, as far as I know, continues to work for the same company”.
Marina’s may be an extreme case because, among other things, these types of people do not always have enough intelligence to deceive the entire company and end up giving themselves away, but the figure of the “ball” is everywhere. “Sometimes it is not easy to distinguish the limits between making our work visible and being a ‘ball’”, says Gómez Checa, “but in my experience, it is more common to meet people who tell me that they do not know how to sell themselves than with those who sell themselves in excess. It is a matter of belief, that is, if I believe that saying how good I am, everything I do, how smart I am… I get benefits, I’m going to do it. And what’s more, I’m going to make it a habit. While if I believe that selling is negative, that it is not necessary, that it is ‘climbing’, or that people already know how I am, I do not need to say it, it may go unnoticed. For me, the main thing is to communicate reality, and not in any way, but by presenting facts and substantiating them. Everything else is blah blah blah.”
Gema Campos considers humility to be one of the key aspects: “ A person must have the ability to highlight their strengths, their good work, and their results, but they must also understand that they have areas for improvement and accept them and not try to hide them because everyone sees them. The key is humility, which is a basic competence for learning. However, there is a tendency to think that a humble person should not presume because it is what we have been taught since we were little but that is a belief that limits us, with which we must accept and boast of what we do well and accept and learn what we can improve on. A person who behaves like a ‘ball’ will always hide the areas for improvement, generating distrust among others and thus hindering relationships with their peers ”.