Developing relationships is one of the most important parts of the work experience and if this gets off on the wrong foot, all sorts of chaos can ensue.

In the corporate world, just because you have a university degree does not mean that you can claim your rightful place on the organizational chart. You have to earn respect.

With a number of my graduate clients it seems that they often find themselves in the self-loathing space of trying to seek acceptance and approval from bosses, peers and even staff.

Needless to say this does not go a long way to command respect.

When I ask them whether they would prefer to be respected or liked, they invariably confirm that respect is unreservedly the desired option..

The eventual outcome of this ridiculous situation is that they are saying yes to things they actually do not want to do. The result is a frustrated confusion and self-deprecation.

How does such a preposterous situation develop?

Quite honestly the answer is not comforting. Usually it is a self esteem issue and normally it’s about fear of rejection.

Now I don’t want to start venturing into the realms of psychology – I’m not a psychologist in any form or fashion.

What I do want to say is welcome to the human race.

We all suffer from these symptoms to various degrees of severity.

What I also know is that if one becomes aware of these reactions, there is an opportunity to respond in a different way and create a different result.

There is no short term fix but there are skills that one can develop that can make a meaningful difference.

The result?

You reclaim your power and take a stand on your position. And that looks like:

I don’t like what you are doing – please stop.

– If you want me to work this hard, I want a raise

– If you do that again I’m giving you a written warning

– I’m not prepared to work every weekend – I have my family to consider

– If you touch me again I am laying a charge of sexual harassment

A good coach should be able to help you with all of this in just a few sessions.


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