Being Selfish At Work Can Be A Good Thing For Your Sanity

February 8, 2017

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It has been drilled into our heads since we were little kids but the notion of helping others may be burning you out, at least in the office.  An article published in The Harvard Business Review says that being selfless at work can backfire at the expense of your own well-being and risks your chance of long term success. They found those who put the needs of a co-worker ahead of their own, can leave you exhausted and can actually hurt the very same person you intended to help. Wharton School of Business Professor, Dr. Adam Grant and researcher Reb Rebele say "generosity burnout" happens when givers assist others in accomplishing their goals at their own expense and that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. That stress can also follow you home too. They also found those you help depend more and more on you for assistance, which adds to the stress.  To combat it, the study authors suggest you prioritize and only offer to help when it matter the most.  When offering help, do it in a way that will work in accomplishing your own goals too, such as filling out your own expense report while having the co-worker who needs help, observing you while giving instruction.  Don't be shy in telling them to ask someone else for help, especially if you don't have time.  Dedicate a time of the day (or week) to offer help, rather than spontaneous assistance.  Finally, avoid helping those who only take.

SOURCE: Harvard Business Review

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