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10/06/2014 11:23 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Most Important Thing To Remember About Work Relationships (VIDEO)

Spiritual teacher and bestselling author Caroline Myss wants you to get one thing straight: Your workplace is not a therapist's office. When she met 32-year-old Jacob on OWN's new series "Help Desk," she realized he was looking for spiritual growth in all the wrong places.

In the above video, Jacob says he's having trouble communicating with his co-workers. Typically, he takes a passive, people-pleasing approach. "In my work relationships, I'm really struggling with learning to be assertive and clear and powerful," he says. "When I've tried to step forward, I find myself being overly aggressive and going the other way."

Myss quickly realizes that the issue is not that Jacob struggles with acting aggressive or passive; it's that he worries so much about how his coworkers will view him if he acts one way or the other. In other words, his focus seems to be more on his work relationships than his work itself. This is what truly holds him back from earning the respect and success he's capable of achieving.

"Here's what you need to get... It's not personal," Myss tells him. "Work is not therapy, and it's not family. It's work. It's not a place where you say, 'You remind me of my mother and my dad and when you talk to me like that, I feel bad.' If I had an employee like that I'd tell them to go home. I can't deal with this, this is business."

Her honest feedback hits home for Jacob, who suddenly realizes that he has been taking things personally in the office. "I've really been looking at all my work relationships as these symbols, and this is a message for me to work through something – and it's not inappropriate," he says. "It's not this personal growth experience."

Myss shakes her head. "You want a personal growth experience, go on an outback thing," Myss tells him. "Don't ever mix the two. That's where you get your wires crossed. And if you can't get that, you'll get fired and be rejected."

Jacob nods, and Myss leaves him with one last bit of tough love. "Get a backbone, not a wishbone," she tells him. "This is tough stuff, but it's the best advice."

"Help Desk" airs Sundays at noon ET on OWN.

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