WOMEN
11/02/2011 11:24 am ET Updated Jan 02, 2012

5 Work Rules You Should Break

Most people think they know the keys to career success: Keep your head down and nose to the grindstone. Avoid personal, emotional, or awkward subjects (in fact, any elephant in the room) at all costs. Well, guess again. Here, experts reveal five on-the-job maxims that are worth challenging.

1. Stay Away From Emotional Topics

In my opinion, you should always bring a problem out into the open, even if it's personal, difficult, or awkward. Say you and a colleague have different work styles or have clashed over a project, and as a result there is serious tension between the two of you. Tiptoeing around the issue may cause your productivity to suffer, so it's crucial that you confront your coworker. You can say, "You seem to dispute every point I make, and I don't understand. Did I do something to upset you?" If you talk about it, the situation won't spiral out of control or become a pattern.

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