Falling in love with your
co-worker and having a co-worker office romance
screws up your chances for Promotion / Pay Raise
full stop. Why and how to fix it?
Follow this sex and the workplace deck, and find out.
So, in the 1st part of this deck [watch here if you’ve missed it], we’ve seen the first
3 of the 7 BossProblems that make you un-promotable and
(and often after as well) having a romance with your co-worker,
i.e., an office romance.
Those BossProblems are: 1. You Are Not Focused On The Job
2. You Become a Distraction for others 3. You become an imbalance in the team,
a counter-equalizer And today, I’m going to give you the examples
I’ve promised you, regarding this 3rd , tricky, BossProblem,
of you becoming an imbalance in the team , a counter-equalizer.
And if that doesn’t convince you that “Molly, you in danger girl” (and also:
Murray, you in danger guy) then I give up: Go ahead and screw up your chances of getting
that promotion and pay raise
you so want, what do I care?
But I do care, so this deck
is my last ditch effort, to save you from yourself, (actually yourselves,
as I’m talking to you as a couple – hopefully you’re watching this together, but
even if not) so
let’s get to it, there’s so much to cover:
So l if you are falling in love with a co-worker or maybe
you are already in the midst a co-worker romance at the office,
then stay tuned – you must watch this!
And if you have a friend who fits this description – be sure to be a good friend by sending
this video link (or better yet – the whole deck)
to him or her: you’ll be saving their career!
Hi, I’m the BossProblemBuster, founder of the Pay Raise Commando,
a veteran organizational consultant of 24 years,
having worked across cultures, industries and ranks,
and I’m also a Social Psychologist, with a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degrees, both with
honors. My team and I train passed-over corporate
professionals, like you, to get that pay raise and promotion you are overdue for,
so that you can finally kill your Monday blues, and bring your
inner joy back! which is the part I like best, and the goal
of this channel: kill your Monday blues, and bring your inner joy back!
Now back to the salt mines… So,
as we’ve seen in part 1 teams are very sensitive to cliques forming within them,
and a lovey-dovey couple such as yourselves is such a clique,
even though you’re are only two. Why? Because when you behave as a couple,
it tilts the whole group dynamics.
Group dynamics are an unspoken power structure, with a delicate equilibrium,
a balance, that often took months,
if not years, to achieve, to settle, in just that way,
And now the whole thing is out of kilter, it tilts towards the couple (that is you,
love birds). Why? Because you, as a couple, have extra
say now. Extra say means extra power, because you, as a couple, are a standalone
unit of two, in the midst of everybody else,
who is single individuals. Moreover, this disruption and destruction
to your team’s dynamics is worse, than had it been any other form of a clique.
Why? Because a romantic clique is, by default,
a much more intimate and cohesive unit, which exacerbates the whole disruption,
and triggers a potential disintegration of the team, as a whole.
“And you want me to make you my latex salesman?” Now, some of you may say “hey that’s not fair!
How come my happiness, my relationship, has suddenly become the “bad guy”,
and is now responsible for potentially wrecking the whole team?
How come?” My answer to that is: it is not a matter of
whether it is fair, or unfair. That is irrelevant.
It is just the way it is. This is true for all humans, across cultures,
times, and situations. Look, the best analogy is a family.
(Mind you, a team at work and the family, are not the
same, but some aspects of the relationships within them, definitely are).
So, think of yourself, and your nuclear family: Your parents, a sister and, a brother…
If you have issues with one another, you can just talk to them directly, and resolve it.
The three siblings and the two parents, are a unit, a team.
But before all three siblings were born, there were the parents as a couple. They had their
own thing, their own equilibrium, their own balance:
Who takes out the trash, who does the dishes, how they spend any free time, etc.
But then, with each child being added to this established dynamics, everything changes,
New dynamics need to form,
which is exactly why each birth, of each child, is a very
(on top of very happy) very stressful time
in any family unit life. Let’s take this analogy one step further –
Now, each of you kids are grown, and suppose you
need your brother to lend you some money, for whatever reason.
You go directly to him and ask for it. And since your brother’s allegiance is to
you, as part of his nuclear family,
he will probably agree and lend you the money you need.
But now, Let’s take another step further Now you’re all adults and each of you is bringing
a partner into the mix. Suddenly, the
“original five” of you and your parents, are becoming 6 and 7 and 8…
This is a whole new family. Now if you want to ask your brother for a
loan, he will have to get his wife’s consent or
even permission because they have a
joint bank account and it’s not just for him to say what they
do with the money. And maybe she says ‘no’. What then?
So your family dynamics have completely shifted, once a couple
(in the form of your brother and his wife) is introduced to it, as a couple,
thus the whole relationship shifts. In this scenario, You’re probably very frustrated
that your sister-in-law is a factor in this equation. But she is.
It will get even trickier when you marry, and when your sister marries –
Your wife may not be so close with your sister-in-law, which will make you and your brother drift
apart. So to sum this point up: Any clique, of any
sort, a romantic couple in particular, once introduced to a
well-established group of people, weather a family or
a team at work, disrupts and destructs,
the equilibrium of that group, to the point of creating a lot of tension
there. And to bring it back home, as promised,
‘home’ being the office, the workplace, this tension will give further rise to all
the other BossProblems we’ve covered, and they will, indeed,
screw up your chances of landing that promotion, and or pay raise you so want.
I’ve given you a family example but let’s go directly to the workplace
and let me give you 3 workplace examples, that I’m sure you can relate to, and that
will further convince you that I’m not exaggerating:
an office romance with a co-worker, does change everything within a team
and thus, jeopardizes both of your careers: Example no.1:
Lunchtime obviously you always had coworkers you we’re
closer with, thus you tended to go out to lunch with those
people, more than others, So, although you didn’t necessarily go out
to lunch with everybody in your team or department, even before you fell in love with your coworker,
it is quite safe to assume that, it was more or less randomly distributed.
It was more utilitarian in nature, so: who was free at the same time,
who wanted to go to the same restaurant, or order in from the same cuisine.. And so forth
This gives everybody a comfortable feel, (even if totally
sub-conscious) that everybody is,
more or less, a potential lunch-mate for you, and you (and
your now-beloved), are for them, and so, everybody is more or less on the same
level, socio-metrically. (Socio-metrics being the practice of measuring
distances between people of the same group: whom is close with whom, whom is distant from
whom, and whom is all together shunned by all
and doing so to draw conclusions as to the degree of cohesiveness
of the group, or lack thereof.)
So this comfortable feel, of more or less equal distances between everybody
in the team, with some subgroups
of closer coworkers, which is very natural,
This was the socio-metric state of affairs, before your office romance
with a co-worker, So both of you held a benign
non-clique status, in your team or department. You were one of the guys
and you were one of the gals. But now, it’s all different. You go to lunch
only with one another, to the point of excluding even your closest
friends in the team. Do you think they like it? No!
They feel abandoned! At the beginning they were rooting for you
and thinking “aww, this is so cute”, but as time went by
they resented you more and more. Now, do I think you should not go to lunch
with your beloved co-worker partner just because your other
co-worker friends feel abandoned? Not necessarily.
This may be a price you’re willing to pay, and that’s your prerogative.
But this is the wrong question, because I’m not here to dispense dating advice,
but sex and the workplace advice. And if you keep that focus, as you should,
the only pertinent question is: How will this affect your chances, of landing
that promotion, and/or pay raise, you think you are long overdue for?
Does it up your chances, or detract from them?
Your call. Your choice.
Just know that you if you
disregard this, your chances will be detracted from, substantially.
After all, no one is going to promote, let alone give a pay raise, or a bonus,
to someone who is, now dis-liked by even his or her own friends
in the team (before you may have been disliked only by
non-friends – which is also important,
and potentially telling, but different).
And please note, you are being disliked, for the wrong reason!
It’s okay to be not-so-liked, for challenging professional calls you have made.
Actually, it may be much more than just “okay” –
it may be the qualifying factor for a leadership position,
because you will have proven yourself, as one who can make challenging calls,
despite paying a price in their popularity. So that would have been great for your chances
of a promotion and a pay raise! But no.
You are currently not-so-liked, by
your own friends, because you have ditched them! That goes against leadership:
How will you invoke loyalty, and commitment,
if people know you’ll ditch them, for a new “attraction”, at any time? Answer: You won’t!
Therefore: “no soup for you!”
Plus, you are, once again, screwing yourself, in yet another way.
Think about it: you love birds synchronize your schedules,
to make this daily doing-lunch-together, possible.
This has a domino effect on other coworkers, whenever they are trying to set up meetings
with one of you, to work on an assignment you share with them.
It’s hard enough to find matching open slots as it is, but now that you are a clique, it’s
even worse! Thus, once again, your ability to do your
job, to keep deadlines,
and to cooperate with others, is diminished. Does this sound conducive, to being top-of-mind
for a pay raise, or promotion? Or even just be eligible for one?
Example no 2 straight out of your everyday workday is:
Meetings (what else?) You’re going into a meeting with the rest
of the team, and one of you lovey-dovey couple gets there first.
Now, anybody who tries to sit next to you, is getting
shooed off – although very nicely, and with a smile –
because you’re saving that seat for your schmoopie. So… what, now we are calling ‘dibs’ on the
seating arrangements, in meetings? Really?
What’s next, a food fight? This is a place of work, guys,
not kindergarten! Not to mention this is an overt
preferential treatment to one co-worker (your partner) over all the rest:
You’re saying, to whomever is trying to sit next to you:
‘I don’t want you – I want her’ (or him) referring to your partner!
The first or second co-workers, may take it lightly, but then, the more people come into
the meeting room – the more
and obnoxious it gets. So the meeting cannot start with the same
atmosphere as it used to – there’s overt and covert resentment towards you, schmoopie
et schmoopie. And the third and last workplace example
starts right where the second left off: Voting on issues
So now the meeting moves to voting on whatever it is you need to decide on,
whether it’s a majority rules thing
or it is just a discussion in which
a call must be made. Whereas before you
fell in love with your co-worker
and embarked on your office romance, everybody would weigh in, as individuals,
now, you love-birds are automatically siding with
one another – you won’t vote against the other one,
even if it were called for matter-of-factly. So the game is,
de facto, rigged:
You prefer to side with your schmoopie, rather than decide on the merits of each individual
issue. How very professional of you!
What promotion and pay raise material
that makes you to be… Absolutely…
for sure… Indeed, your boss is a witness to all these
happenings: He or she is there when you’re twisting your
schedule and contorting everybody else’s on the way,
just so that you can go out to lunch with your schmoopie;
and your boss is right there when you are shooing everybody off the seat next to you
in the meeting; and finally when you’re voting on issues not
by merit, as determined by your professional experience and expertise, but by your
automatic siding with your coworker lover
who may not have any relevant say on the matter and still you would side with him or her just
because this is what couples do (or there is a fight to be had).
So your boss is witnessing your overt choice to have your relationship override
your professional judgement. How do you think
that plays, when he or she has to make the call regarding
your promotion and or pay raise??? (I’m talking to the both of you love birds!)
See how even the most benign everyday
work circumstances, are affected,
and negatively so, by your
co-worker romance at the office?
See how it happens? Nobody is trying to take your happiness
away from you, but you do need to be
very realistic about the fact that there is a price to pay.
No free lunches in life. Nor love.
Nor work. It’s just the way it is.
And I’m telling you the truth. And a final note to this BossProblem no. 3
(out of 7) on how falling in love with your co-worker and having an office romance
(some call it a co-worker romance) … so how it screws your chances of landing that
promotion / pay raise and the note is this:
The more functioning, thus the better equilibrium, the team has
had prior to your blossoming office romance,
the more disruptive and destructive it is, because you are messing with a well-established
ecosystem that now has to re-calibrate, which is tough
both practically (sometimes it will never reach the previous
level or quality of
equilibrium as before), And operationally
(it will take time and resources – especially managerial ones, which take away your boss’
focus from the business at hand, so – not a good thing, and yet another thing he or
she would NOT appreciate about you). It’s like being the Yoko Ono to The Beatles
(if she were a part of the band to begin with – but you get what I mean).
Or better yet: It’s like The Mamas and the Papas. That’s great
double-whammy example: Michelle Phillips and John Phillips were married
before the group was founded, So while everything we’ve talked about would
still be absolutely relevant, it would not be as problematic,
at least in the short run, because it is a built-in part
of the dynamics of the group,
right from the get-go: It is built-in into the situation, it is baked
into the cake. Whereas we’re talking about an office romance,
a co-worker romance that starts after the team has already formed,
and then you fall in love with a co-worker. So in your case
there is an element of a fundamental change to the previous equilibrium and dynamics,
as we’ve seen. The second whammy of this example, gets even
more poignant: If it were “just” Mama Cass falling in love
with her group-mate Denny Doherty, then there would be some overt or covert turmoil,
but the group would be able to function, because he was not into her, thus a clique
of two, a couple,
was not formed. But he was into said Michelle Phillips,
whom was not only married, but married to the 4th band-mate, said John
Phillips… thus creating a complete mess
with everybody involved (pun very much intended). So when these two (Michelle & Denny) cheated
on both husband, John Phillips, and unrequited would-be-partner,
mama Cass, then,
once it was found out, it wasn’t possible to put the genie back into
the bottle. They kept recording together for a while,
because they were under contract, but their team disintegration had already
started, and the writing of their breakup,
was already on the wall. Lesson the day:
falling in love with your co-worker
and having an office romance
messes everything up. And that’s when the
affair is blossoming! What happens when
it goes sour? Join me next to find out!
And in the meanwhile: Forget schmoopie and go back to work! You know I can’t help get
you that pay raise and promotion, if you don’t actually do the job!