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Dealing With Workplace Drama with Rosalinda Randall
Our guest is Rosalinda Randall. Rosalinda has shown us how to have drama-free interactions in business. Rosalinda, welcome.
Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to our chat.
You do a myriad of different things. How does drama start in the workplace or business?
Usually, it’s personality conflict or expectations. A lot of times, if we’re single-minded that we’re going to get our thought across, everyone has to agree with us and we are always right. We’re the ones sometimes causing the drama. We have to get beyond that and change our way of thinking or our perspective, that we aren’t always right. We can be right, but so can the other person. I know that sounds so cliché and juvenile like, “Let’s agree to disagree.” That’s a great saying, but as we can see from our leadership down to everyday workplaces, that is something that isn’t that easy to achieve. To avoid drama, I choose not to participate in it.
How do you know you’re the problem and how do you choose not to participate in it? A lot of times, it’s a vortex. You figure it out.
There will always be those people who don’t take it in and reflect on whether they are the problem or not, no matter who points things out. Let’s put them to the side because they will always exist. It makes life a little bit interesting. The way to find out if you are the problem is to see, “Do I have a conflict with almost everyone?” When I say conflict, I don’t mean that you dislike them or you’re argumentative or anything, but they strike you the wrong way. Everyone you meet, there’s always something wrong with them. Every job you go to, everyone’s against you. Maybe you have friends or family members who give it to you straight and you don’t see it. Take that in. Work with a mentor. If they tactfully tell you, “Perhaps you should look at it this way,” take it in. The biggest one, and this is what people talk about, is criticism. If someone criticizes you about something, you may initially be defensive or hurt or embarrassed. I tell people, “Take that criticism, as awful as it was delivered and sit with it for a while. It could be the best gift you ever received if you take the time to analyze it and forget being hurt and humiliated.” Those are some ways that we can take a moment to see if we are the problem or not.
My background is electrical engineering. You know how well engineers take criticism. I kept getting the same feedback from one of my supervisors. I would always do the two-year-old, get angry, stomp around, try to avoid him. One day, I don’t know why but I had this thought, “What if they’re right?” I got a couple of ways that supported them, changed a little bit of some of the things I was doing and my work went faster. I didn’t get the push back. That one little shift in perspective of, “What if they had a point and they weren’t trying to criticize me?”
That takes courage to sit and accept criticism about ourselves. You grow. It doesn’t take a lot. People aren’t trying to change you. That’s the other thing. I did a presentation. They were going, “I’m not going to change. This is how I am.” First of all, how’s it working for you? That’s the first question. Ask, “Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you content? Are you productive? Are you helpful? Do your coworkers invite you to Happy Hour or they run off before they see you?” There are a lot of little red flags and little tiny pink flags that tell us, but we’re too perfect sometimes. We don’t want to see it.
Corporations hire you. What kind of issues do they come with where they’re like, “Rosalinda, I need you?” What happens in the workplace or in a small business where they’re like, “We need a Rosalinda solution?”
The last three have been on communication. People get sexual harassment classes and basic harassment and how to speak without getting sent to HR. There are given with a lot of legal talk like, “If you say this, this will happen.” Employees are left with, “How do I talk? What can I say? How do I respectfully talk?” I come in and give tips on a different perspective on communication. You don’t have to lose your personality. You can still be you. Just some guidelines that help people stay within a professional boundary and diminish the possibility of offending someone. No matter how pretty we talk, somebody might be offended. I always talk like, “Even if you sprinkle fairy dust around whatever you’re going to say, somebody may still be offended.”Sit and accept criticism about yourself. It doesn't take a lot and it makes you grow. Click To Tweet
My other thing is it’s not so much that they were offended, maybe just not included. My son had an honor society induction thing. The guy was like, “He this. He that.” All his stories were about he. Towards the end, I was zoning out. Not that I’m a feminist, “How dare you speak like that,” but it was so many guy examples. I wasn’t following him after a while. Does that make sense?
I totally understand it. I’m like you. I don’t get offended if it’s he. When it was the entire thing, and especially having a son and trying to understand it better and be more participatory perhaps, yes. That’s where I come in to, for example, show that gentleman who was doing the presentation that we can use he, she or they, that’s the more current pronoun that people say. Use they or them so that everyone is included. Those are little things that if you’re used to a certain way, depending on where you come from, depending on your point of view, people can’t make you.
What I tell people too is if they were doing it in a derogatory manner, if there was an intent to leave someone out or exclude or make a point, then maybe a little chit chat privately would be in order. If you see the person’s intent, that’s what I tell people when you get a compliment say from the opposite sex. It could be from the same sex too. It doesn’t matter. Let’s go with when a traditional male gives you a compliment on what you’re wearing. It depends on the intent. Was he salivating and rubbing his hands together and ogling you? That’s a little creepy. We’re going to have a chat.
If it was intended in passing like, “You look great today,” take it with what it is. We don’t have to read into things a lot. It depends on the situation. If this man, the one you refer to, was used to he’s and maybe he has all sons and he deals with mostly males, his intent probably wasn’t to exclude the female sex. Your perspective, his perspective, that’s where conflict can start or an annoyance, to say the least. It doesn’t have to be conflict. You could have if you’re going to see him again. This can happen in the workplace. Afterward, privately and very calmly approach and say, “For the future, there are a lot of girls here and a lot of women here. It would be great if you could mix it up a little.” I always take that humorous approach and that a-ha versus, “You should do this.” That’s an option even in that situation.
Another example that happens in business often I feel is when people get into these sticky situations, let’s say you and I have a personality conflict, they go into these avoidance behaviors. What are some of your solutions or strategies for that? A lot of times, the go-to is, “Let’s ghost him.”
I’ve had conflicts with people when I worked in corporations. What I tried to do was privately ask them, not in my early years but as I grew. Say, “Can we talk?” There are so many ifs, ands or buts. If that person says, “What for? I don’t want to talk to you,” then you have a problem. Maybe it’s time to bring in someone only if it’s making you miserable, if they’re sabotaging your work, you’re sabotaging there. If it is preventing you from getting your job done in a professional manner or timely manner, then you need to bring in the manager. They get paid the big bucks to handle these types of situations. Then the three of you meet and discuss it. In fact, one situation I was talking about, I gave them this advice and they said, “It was from a few years ago. She thought I said something. She thought it was about her and it wasn’t. I was talking about someone else.” Their relationship for the last few years was in conflict until they resolved it.
A lot of people don’t like to communicate. They’re very hesitant. They don’t like conflict. They don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s a huge risk, but it can help resolve the situation. Other times, there are people that aren’t going to like you no matter what you do. You’re not going to like them no matter what you do. It’s a mindset perspective. As long as you aren’t bullying each other or creating more conflict or not giving them their messages, playing games in other words, you can get your job done and be civil and go, “Hello, good morning. Here’s a copy for the meeting. Here’s the agenda.” It’s only what is necessary. You move on and you’ll have a million other coworkers that you can have fun with. Sometimes we have to deal with it, suck it up and move on.
I had a colleague that I wanted to smack. I went to her and I said, “When you asked me to do this, I was wondering what were you thinking?” It’s just to get their perspective. Half the time, we have a story in our head that doesn’t quite match their story. It was like, “That was your intention. I totally missed that part.” I let her know that that behavior threw me off and I was surprised by it. It made us both aware of preferences that each of us has.
That is everything. If everyone could do that, say, “This is what I felt when you said that,” it could clarify it and go, “That’s exactly what I meant.” “Let’s move on and discuss why.” You can resolve it rather than if you leave it and you start texting everyone or posting random Facebook post.
This has been amazing. How do people find you?There are people that aren't going to like you no matter what you do and you're not going to like them no matter what they do. Click To Tweet
It’s very simply, RosalindaRandall.com. That is my website. It has all social media, blogs, information and tips. Everything is on there.
For someone that’s a heart-centered entrepreneur growing their own business, what is one piece of advice with all your experience that you would leave them with?
Invest in experts. I tried doing it all myself, the website, the social media marketing. You do have to make an investment. Sometimes we say, “We don’t have money. We don’t. We’re not making it.” Ask any business. Even the brick and mortar, you have to invest something in there. That’s number one. The second one would be try not to do business with friends. That does not work out in most cases. Then don’t expect ongoing support from family and friends. Initially, they may buy your book and do this but they have their lives too. A lot of times, I’ve heard business owners get upset and say, “My family doesn’t come shop here or my family doesn’t repost.” It’s not their job. I know that there has been a conflict within family and friendships because people expect them to support your business. Don’t let that ruin your relationships.
That’s perfect advice after being in business. Do not convert previous relationships into business relationships. They’re there for a different purpose. Thank you so much for being with us.
Thank you. It was a pleasure. You’re a pleasure. It was a great interview.
Thank you. I am your guest host, Sam Mak. You can find out more about me and diversity and inclusion speaking at www.SpeakerAuthorMotivator.com. Also, be sure you subscribe to our podcast and give us five stars.
About Rosalinda Randall
Rosalinda Oropeza Randall is workplace civility and business etiquette expert based in Northern California.
She has been combating rude behavior and spreading civility for over a decade. She focuses on communication techniques, presence, and professional behavior helping individuals consider options to interact more effectively with a lot less drama, less potential for harassment, and without losing their individuality.
Rosalinda believes that in most cases we can direct a conversation for a more agreeable outcome. By lending personality and humor, Rosalinda’s tactful, yet straightforward manner breaks down the perception that social skills and good manners are outdated or too formal.
Her common-sense based approach is coupled with a realistic perspective facing today’s ever-changing workplace dilemmas, especially harassment issues. Along with continuous training, certifications, trend-watching, serving as a media source, and industry connections, it was her modest upbringing that prepared her best.
It did not include finger bowls or fine china. Her parents provided something much more important. She received a foundation of timeless character traits like respect, consideration, and tact, on which she bases her life and business model. Her book, “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom. Handling Uncommonly Common Workplace Dilemmas” complements her signature straightforward style and humor.
She made television appearance throughout the country and often appears on KTLA 5 and Good Day Sacramento. Rosalinda believes that it’s how you make people feel when they’re around you that makes a difference–this can propel a person’s career as well as personal relationships.