… “It doesn’t seem like there’s an opportunity there for really saving face,” said Shirin Khamisa, a Toronto-based career coach and founder of Careers by Design. “But once you’ve made that error and something’s out there, it’s much better to face up to it than try and sweep it under the rug.”
Ms. Khamisa said it only makes things worse to pretend the harsh words were never spoken. Owning up to it, however awkward, can be an opportunity to address issues that have been simmering for some time.
“Right after this happens might not be the best time to do that, but at least it brings an issue to the forefront that’s been hidden or hasn’t been attended to and has possibly been causing problems,” she said. “You have to have the courage to take responsibility and to be honest about what happened.”
As for bosses who realize their employees have been badmouthing them, Ms. Khamisa said that a decision must be made about how best to minimize the impact on the office dynamic.
“It really depends on your leadership style,” she said. “You have to be able to deal with your own emotions and what that comment brought up for you, while figuring out what’s best for your team.”
People must also realize that their co-workers are human and will be hurt if they find out they’re being disparaged.
“I think it can be a problem, especially in organizations where management is somewhat distanced, or it doesn’t seem like everyone is on the same team,” Ms. Khamisa said. “It can get into an us-versus-them mentality.” …
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