Awkward situations are bound to happen, and there is almost no way you can avoid them. Sometimes situations happen and they make you feel super embarrassed and weird inside. There are scenarios where you want to quit your job, run away, and relocate to Thailand, merge with the townsmen and start a new life. Other times you feel shivers run down your spine and you swear to yourself that you can actually never come back from this situation, here are a few things you could do;

  • Receiving praise for work you did not do; sometimes, things get muddled up and your boss is standing there, cheering you on and congratulating you for a task you didn’t achieve. Somewhere in your head and by every standard, it is wrong because you did not put in the work or efforts, and although it is very easy to get lost in the glam and celebration and just go on with the façade. It’s important to be upright and politely respond to the compliments by transferring credit to whom credit is truly due, you can say things along the lines of; thank you very much Mr. Kennedy, but Angela actually did the task, I only served a supporting function and I agree with you, she did an amazing job, the cheers belong to her. Even though at the moment, you might be feeling a bit weird and uptight, you have done the right thing, and this, in turn, will give you more respect and recognition from your co-workers as they will see you as a leader who is confident enough to pass a well-deserved compliment without feeling insecure.
  • Watching someone else receive credit for work you did; it’s probably the worst thing ever when you have labored and put in a whole lot of effort and then watch someone take all the glory and praise for your work, that could really suck. There is a way around it, you do not have to be rude or overly confrontational. You simply must ensure that you pass your message across properly and let your boss know that you worked on the task. You can actually do this light-heartedly in public by saying things along the lines of ‘when I worked on this, it was a team effort’ or if you don’t want things to get further awkward by speaking in public, you can meet your boss in private and ensure it’s clear that you helped out.
  • Hearing your co-workers say non-complimentary conversations about you; this is such an unpleasant and hurtful thing to experience, hearing people speak negatively about you can hurt you innately. Here’s a little bit of advice, instead of barging in and throwing tantrums and fits, breath in and out, and then use the opportunity to self-evaluate. Are their words true? Were you rude? Do you turn in your work late? After honest introspection with yourself, approach your co-workers calmly and maturely, you can either ask them to coffee or lunch and discuss the issues with them. Ensure you are not confrontational or aggressive and make it clear that you have nothing against them, and you are just seeking clarity and growth. Discuss how to move forward.
  • Your boss sees you spending office time on Youtube; this is such an embarrassing situation to be in. You never ever want to be seen in that light, you want to be the hardworking and productive staff, not someone who lazes about doing nothing tangible with their time and resources, you want to be seen in a good light but unfortunately, things happen. Make it clear to your boss that you are just taking a quick break, or you needed to see something else for a bit. Take this as a serious warning and ensure it doesn’t repeat itself.
  • Office Gossips; be wary of the office gossip, that person who has tea on everyone, that person that badmouths one person to everyone else, stay away from them like the plague. If you get stuck in a situation where you are forced to talk to them or be alone with them, simply smile and nod, avoid making any comments and just wait till they wear themselves out and then excuse yourself, you can also go to the loo or fake a call, anything to avoid being in that situation.


Yomi Olusunle

Brands and Digital Innovation


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