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Self Control at Workplace

The work place, be it an organization, a school or a restaurant, comprises of a group of diverse people working together towards a common goal. Since there is a single common objective for these people, there must exist complete harmony in interpersonal relationships. However, as the group is diverse, there will be some amount of friction, which stems from differing personalities and personal goals.

These differences have to be managed through the application of self-control when dealing with one another:

Boss-Subordinate Relationship

A most difficult relationship to manage is the boss-subordinate relationship. A popular saying that states, ‘You can choose your organization, but not choose your boss’, is explicit in its implication that you have to manage your work around whichever boss is assigned to you. In these relationships, self-control needs to be applied by both sides. The boss must be understanding about his subordinates work aptitude, personal circumstances (if any), and use self-control while reprimanding him in front of his/her peers. Similarly, the subordinate should avoid contradicting his/her boss in public. If there is any case for disagreement or if the subordinate feels very strongly about something, it is best to restrain oneself until the matter can be discussed with the boss aside. Sometimes, bosses are aggressive in nature and can be abusive when assignments are lagging behind. Here, the subordinate must use restraint while reacting as it can lead to tremendous unpleasantness with a loss of job security for the subordinate.

Amongst Peers

Most people in organizations work in teams and must resort to harmonious teamwork if the common goals are to be achieved. There are bound to be ego clashes with each one having an opinion about the other. However, if self-control is not applied, then there will be no teamwork. Some times, some people will have to restrain themselves from reacting (or over-reacting) in order to maintain some amount of decorum. Peers also have a tendency to ‘talk behind people’s back’ which can be very disheartening for the underdog. However, it is up to the underdog whether to use self-control while dealing with such situations or to retaliate in the same derogatory manner.

Client Relationships

In an organization, clients can be internal (i.e., other departments/business units) or external. A client relationship is built on the premise of the service that is rendered to the client. The better the service, the better is the relationship. However, to attain this state, the individual servicing the client must have tremendous amounts of self-control as clients tend to become demanding in many ways. As the dictum states, ‘The client is always right’, and the demands are always justified. While some demands can be met, if within the purview of the organization’s value principles, others will have to be handled judiciously. Moreover, if the character of the client is derogatory or of a harassing nature, the individual needs to use self-control to prevent himself from reacting immediately and excuse himself/herself from the situation immediately.

Every person grows in his/her workplace as over the years, he/she gains experience. Unhealthy competition, nasty peers, uncouth attitudes, etc., often mar this path of self-development, and the onus lies with the individual on how he/she wants to manage his/her role in this workplace. The two simplest options available are either to meet all opposition head-on or to calmly use self-discipline, self-control, and maturity to handle the delicate situations. Seniors often notice this application of self-control and the person using this developmental technique is bound to be pushed upwards on the corporate ladder. People who have good managerial and inter-personal skills always hold positions at the top, and they would have use self-control and self-discipline all along the way.