Career Networking

How to Not Sound Needy At Work

There are right ways to ask for what you need and keep your integrity, your dignity, and your sanity at work, especially when you believe that the work environment is becoming more toxic and hampers your work performance. Here are simple steps to ask for what you need without sounding like whiny employee.

“Don’t be needy. One of the keys to being loved is not needing to be loved.”

Margo Vader

Suppose you encountered an issue with your colleague once more and must solve it before it blows out of proportion. Your colleague’s first priority is talking bad about others, you and your superior included, and you decided that you have been patient enough and the time is now to get rid of this problem. However, how do you bring your superior’s attention to this matter without sounding like a demanding employee?

I am sure that everyone has been in this kind of situation more than once. Therefore, here is a couple of pointers when you are dealing with an issue that popped out suddenly with your boss. Regardless of the nature of the problem, it can be addressed by using the following steps.

1. Always keep your cool.

Suppose you are disturbed by a colleague who never stops gossiping about others, or you feels that there is a storm brewing in your workplace because of this colleague. In that case, discuss with your supervisor about it and when you are having that discussion, control your emotions. Be sure to ask your supervisor if they have the time to acknowledge some issues you are experiencing or arrange a meeting beforehand.

“Too many emotions at the workplace can be injurious to your job.”

Rubal Bhatia

It goes without saying that regulating our emotions in such circumstances is hard, especially since you are annoyed as heck, but do your best to buck up. Discussing with your supervisor without getting too emotionally overwhelmed is critical in demonstrating that you are not the same as your needy colleague.

If you are an emotionally intelligent person, proving to your boss that you are not demanding is a walk in the park. Compiling a list of specific scenarios and instances will aid you in developing problem-solving skills and strengthens your ability to ensure that emotions do not compromise your flow of logic.

Then again, humans are not perfect. Hence, we cannot always maintain control over our emotions, especially when the emotional weight becomes too much to bear. That said, here is a career tip: before you approach your supervisor, put your complaints and feelings on the written record, be it on a piece of paper or in a digital document. Examine them in your mind and select those that are responsible for what you are feeling. Be cautious with those when the discussion between you and your supervisor takes place–distance yourself from them as they can elicit an emotional response from you upon being talked about.

2. Have a separation between work and emotions.

So, you talked with your supervisor, only to find out at the end of it that your supervisor is not taking your points seriously. It can be frustrating, and it is too easy for this frustration to affect your productivity at work. However, do not succumb to your emotions. Do not let the negativity in your feelings compromise your ability to perform optimally. Expressing your dissatisfaction with your colleagues or badmouthing your supervisor will only lead you into more trouble.

If you do not receive an immediate response from your supervisor, be patient. Your supervisor may be busy with other, more important matters and needs time to digest your points. The probability of your colleague being expelled from the organisation immediately is very small. Moreover, you may have to wait for some time before your supervisor can confront your colleague about the points you raised. Give your supervisor some time and space while you perform your duties. If the issue remains unsolved after a month or two, emphasise it to your supervisor once more.

3. It is worth staying organised.

Particularly when you are taking a couple of days off or looking for someone to work on your behalf.

“A good system shortens the road to the goal.”

Orison Swett Marden

It is hard to earn yourself a period of downtime, especially when you are a twentysomething who has just entered a new job. However, through one way or another, between your priorities, you have at last made time to go for a short vacation with your significant other–and you deserve it.

Before you walk into your boss’s office to put your demands on their table, it is worth putting together a realistic time of your work and confirming the dates you would like to take off. Then, when you finally are in your boss’s office, present your timeline to show when your tasks will be accomplished, how much downtime you will be taking, and when you will come back to the office.

If you believe that it may be hard not to sound demanding about earning your downtime, make an effort to provide an alternative set of dates for your planned getaway. If you cannot take time off in August, have a word with your supervisor about when the workload will be reduced and apply for leave during that period. Being honest, composed and prepared are vital ingredients of not sounding demanding about your requests.

Final 2¢: Do not expect things to go according to your plan.

Although there is an infinite number of circumstances you could be dealing with in your career, it is imperative not to forget that plans do not unfold the way you envisioned.

However, this does not give you a reason to take your issues with your colleagues further and sabotage your work performance. If you have a problem with something and want it addressed as soon as possible without sounding like a whiny person, make it known to your supervisor professionally and calmly. When you can articulate your points effectively from a logical and emotional point of view, you move closer towards a less hostile work environment.

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