Peer pressure isn’t a thing of the past or something that ended during teenage or early adulthood. Workplace peer pressure can be daunting to manage, as it is like a double-edged sword, why do we say so? Let’s explore.
Research suggests that positive pressure will nudge us to be more productive and accountable. For instance, let’s say you are collaborating, and your co-workers suggest a time limit for the project. What happens is, you now become dedicated to completing tasks on time as you are not only accountable but also you don’t want to let down your team.
While in the case of negative peer pressure, can lead to loss of autonomy, self-esteem issues and similar other effects. For instance, the top management wants a given team to change their working style, so they might direct the team manager to implement it. If he follows the management order the team might ostracize him, if he doesn’t the management will question their capabilities.
Such situations are always going to be at play! We can however equip ourselves to ensure that we identify and manage such situations. Read on to discover practical tips on managing workplace peer pressure.
Indulge small bonding experiences with your team
Research has always encouraged the positive impact of meaningful work experiences on productivity and happiness. Hence, you can try and work around your team members or even if you are working on unrelated tasks. The presence will create a sense of accountability and a sense of support. Such instances will help you bond with each other, create a positive environment, and ensure you’ll reach goals on time. The bonds can also become a testament for others as it will indicate how such informal partnerships (bonding) has such a positive impact.
Learn to not overindulge in positive pressure
Too much of anything can prove to be fatal. Let’s say in your overenthusiasm you ask your entire team to keep a watch on you for a deadline, now this plan can backfire. Everyone has a different way of motivating, and some on the team might feel it's an unwanted duty they have been enforced with. So be mindful and choose a specific person – a friend or a coach. The person could be the one with whom you bond well and can keep you motivated.
Eventually, the benefit of this is that you won’t be overwhelmed by everyone. Secondly, in situations you fail, you won’t be under public scrutiny but rather your entrusted person can aid you to deal with the situation (if required).
Reframe your perspective amidst negative peer pressure
View your colleagues as coaches. We do not necessarily love all our coaches or mentors’ methodologies! So, we can indulge in reframing our perspectives. When a colleague behaves in a certain manner or a certain group dynamic is at play, and you are being rolled into the dynamic, view the situation as a learning situation.
Rather than thinking of succumbing to the pressure and doing what you wouldn't be willing to do, look at the perspective as a test or learning activity. By viewing them as coaches with different methodologies you train your brain to learn from them and the situations all the time.
Know your limits and set your boundaries
A colleague forces you to drink or asks you to join them for an unsolicited break, learn to say no. If you feel sceptical about those situations, given them honest reasoning, maybe you are on medication or have a personal commitment. This ensures your integration and keeps you aligned with what your boundaries and core values are. You will be able to keep yourself from feeling guilty or not being true to yourself.
Stand-up for those in need
Being able to stand up for other colleagues can cause a ripple effect. Raising your voice and concern for a colleague being pressurized will send a strong message. At times seeking external intervention from dedicated teams can also be helpful. This will also help to promote a better work culture and less hostile environment.
Finally, always remember you cannot please everyone. Secondly, nobody can affect your self-esteem unless you let them do that to you. When you feel that the pressure and workplace environment is causing issues, you can seek professional help. HappiMynd is an employee wellness platform that provides varied services like chatting with a professional for your concerns or even scheduling a counselling audio/video session from the comfort of your home or safe space. Such services can help you keep stress and pressure at bay. So sometimes leave it to professionals to help you equip yourself with better-coping skills and well-being management.