The Wall Street Journal ran an article recently called "What to Do With A Workplace Whiner." Let's read some of that article and then discuss the expressions and terms used (these are in bold below). Add these expressions to your business English vocabulary. They are sure to come in handy!
It's one of the diciest challenges of office politics, one that invades the cubicle farm and executive suite alike: How to deal with workplace whiners. While it's often best to walk away, that can be difficult in today's team-based workplace, where many people work closely in groups.
Trying to stay neutral by just listening and nodding can also backfire, says Dana Brownlee, founder of Professionalism Matters, a corporate-training firm in Atlanta. "Before you know it, there's another version of the story circulating, saying you were the one saying something negative about the VP. And they're talking about you over by the Coke machine."
And it can be tough to object without seeming self-righteous. "If you approach someone about their complaining, they may take it in a completely wrong way, and then you've alienated them," says Jon Gordon, an author, consultant and founder of a Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., training firm. It's better to try to bond with co-workers, while setting an example by not griping yourself, he says.
When Kris Whitehead joined a new employer several years ago, his colleagues' frequent work complaints "had a direct impact on my ability to sell," says the Nashua, N.H., salesman. With the economy in a slump, "I had the same secret fears" of failure being voiced by co-workers, he says. Staying upbeat "was an extremely arduous task."dicey - risky; unpredictable. Example: Starting a business during a recession can be dicey.
Here we go with our vocabulary study:
Here we go with our vocabulary study:
office politics - the little games people in offices play to try to get ahead (get more money, get a promotion, get a better job, get more power, get better treatment, etc).
cubicle farm - an office with cubicles (note: this term has a negative feel to it). This is often shortened to cube farm.
backfire - to bring about the opposite result of what was intended. Example: Our complaints about having the holiday party at our boss' house backfired. Instead of holding the party at a restaurant instead, the company just canceled the party.
self-righteous - always sure that one is right (and often being intolerant of others' points of view). This is definitely NOT something you want to be called!
(to) take something the wrong way - to understand or interpret something as insulting; to be offended by what someone says (often because you are not understanding it as the speaker intended). Example: Don't take this the wrong way, but I think it's time you start looking for another job.
(to) alienate - to make others hostile towards you; to push others from you by things you say or do. Example: Joe has alienated his entire staff with his bossy behavior.
(to) gripe - to complain; to whine (note: this term has been around for centuries -- it comes from the Old English term: gripan). Example: Please stop griping about working long hours. Everybody else is also working hard these days.
in a slump - a slow period; a recession (Note: this has a second meaning -- when one is feeling down or depressed, you can say he's or she's in a slump).
(to) stay upbeat - to remain positive. Example: Sales have been slow lately, but we're trying to stay update.
arduous - difficult; hard to achieve
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