A happiness expert explains why having work friends is vital to your success

“How To Be Happy At Work” author Annie McKee explains why it’s vital to have work friends and also how getting too personal at work can make things difficult. Following is a transcript of the video.

Annie McKee: One of the ways we can make ourselves happy and feel more fulfilled in our workplaces is to build friendships with the people that work with us, work for us, and even with our boss.

We spend 8 or more hours a day, every day, all week long, working. It’s unacceptable to be unhappy for that much of our waking lives. We need to feel as if we belong we need to be part of a tribe in our organizations. Part of a group that feels good to be working together on something that we care about. You can build friendships around the work just as much as you can around common interests in your personal lives.

What you do want to be careful about, of course, is to become deeply intimate with people to the point that you lose your judgment. That your judgment is clouded and you can’t make good decisions with or for that other individual.

On the flip side, however, if you don’t know the people that you’re working with very well your judgment is also going to be clouded. So it’s an art.

We’re all expected to act professionally in the workplace no matter what our jobs are, and part of that is using good judgment about what we talk about, what aspects of our personal lives we bring to work, and which aspects of our personal lives we leave at home. Unfortunately, an awful lot of our workplaces have if not toxic cultures, dissonant cultures. What this means is that people are allowed to behave in ways that really are not helpful to achieving goals much less creating good relationships.

We have to be careful about the kind of information that we share with our colleagues, with our bosses, and with others in the workplace. So if you want to take a more positive stance just really learn how to read people accurately and understand whether in fact, you can trust them and then determine what you can share based on the level of trust in that relationship.

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The best way to deal with a boss that’s toxic — apart from quitting

Annie McKee is the author of “How To Be Happy At Work.” In this video, she talks about toxic bosses, and how you should deal with them.

Following is a transcript of the video:

Annie McKee: How do you deal with a boss who doesn’t seem to like you and who doesn’t seem to care about you and who doesn’t trust you?

Have you ever had a bad boss? I have, once or twice in my life. In fact one of my bosses was actually toxic. The first sign from me was that every time I turned around this guy was looking over my shoulder. He didn’t seem to trust me. He didn’t seem to like what I was doing at work. He didn’t seem to like me.

Well there are a few things you can do if you have a toxic boss. Number one: admit to yourself that there’s a problem. If you have a bad relationship with your boss, even if it’s that person’s fault, it’s you who won’t be able to do your job as well as you might.

Number two: determine that you will not let this person harm your self-esteem. A toxic boss, a bad boss, or even bad colleagues do not have the right to make you feel bad about yourself or guilty about what you’re doing at work.

The third thing that you can do if you have a toxic boss is to ask yourself a really tough question. What have you done to make the situation worse? You could also ask yourself what you can do to make the situation better. It takes two to tango, as they say, and even the worst bosses can be better and work more fluidly and more positively with you if you make an effort to find out what they need to help them and to make sure that you’re doing what they expect you to do.

Really, in the end, we can only help ourselves and we can only change ourselves. You are not going to change your boss but you can change how you react to that person and you can change how you behave in the workplace.

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Business Insider is the fastest growing business news site in the US. Our mission: to tell you all you need to know about the big world around you. The BI Video team focuses on technology, strategy and science with an emphasis on unique storytelling and data that appeals to the next generation of leaders – the digital generation.