Peer Pressure at Work: What It Is and How To Manage It
Updated: Mar 4
Peer pressure does happen in the workplace. If you have to deal with it, then there are strategies you can use to manage it better.
WHAT IS PEER PRESSURE?
By definition, peer pressure at work is when one feels compelled to follow group norms or have their behaviour and actions be influenced so as to fit in and be agreeable with either one particular person or a group of people at work.
Most people work are in teams. Some may work independently, but for those who have to work with others, the potential for peer pressure to occur in the workplace is high.
IS PEER PRESSURE AT WORK A BAD THING?
Peer pressure in itself isn't a bad thing. Sometimes, peer pressure can actually help make us become better people. If our peers are wise, positive and strong, their influence may assist with our professional development and growth as a person.
Peer pressure is bad when the influence from peers is based on their own selfish views and wants. Peer pressure is also a bad thing when the pressure itself is actually going to cause in some way or another harm to ourselves and others. If you feel at any point that unless you give in to their pressure and influence, you will be cast out by your peers and treated differently. That's wrong and where peer pressure is really a bad thing.
Giving in to peer pressure is basically you saying that you cannot make decisions for yourself and if people in the workplace make you feel bad for using your mental reasoning and rights, then that's wrong and unfair. Every person has the right to make their own judgement. Peers may help guide us as to what decisions we make, but at the end of the day, it's really up to us.
HOW CAN YOU MANAGE PEER PRESSURE AT WORK?
You can manage peer pressure at work by being upfront with your peers as to how you feel about the pressure they are placing on you and to not be afraid to stand up and say no. Be determined to let other people know at work that you are capable of making your own decisions. Also, ask them that. Am I not capable of making my own decisions?
It's also important to not flare up the flames at work. Once you have made your commitment to not giving in, be respectful and kind. Show appreciation for their views and acknowledge them, but make it clear that you cannot follow or agree with certain things they believe in.
For example. your peers may pressure you to follow a certain sporting team or come with them to Friday night drinks. Be upfront and frank with them as to what you decide to do. Avoid umming and arring. Make it clear from the start.
Matthew Coppola, Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions
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