Work takes up a large part of our waking lives and most of us strive hard to be good at it. There are many reasons for this. Maybe it’s for personal satisfaction, a desire to please the boss, to get ‘that’ promotion or the annual bonus or even just to hit our targets and make commission.
Whatever the reasons, we want to do well. But could we be unwittingly doing things in the office that are holding us back? Things so simple that we don’t even realise we are doing them? Maybe our colleagues and bosses have noticed – but we haven’t. Even worse, what if we are even becoming notorious for them and – gasp – we’ve gotten a bad name without even realising!
So let’s have a look at some of these offences that we could be doing habitually that are really letting us down…
- Being Late. However careful we are to plan our journeys to work, there are days when something goes wrong. The car won’t start, the chain comes off your bike half way down the High Street, or your new born baby throws up on your suit … But rather than the odd occasion, we are late, almost every day. The lateness has become a habit. We just can’t manage to get out of bed in the morning. We don’t plan properly and we don’t leave enough time. So what? The problem is that this bad habit gets noticed by other colleagues. The worst of all is if we’re late, but we are regularly the first one out of the door at the end of the day. Being late reflects badly. We don’t care enough about our job. We are disorganised. We are unreliable.
- Always complaining. Moaning, whinging, whining and ranting. Whatever you call it, it creates negativity that ripples across the workplace. And as they say, misery loves company. Sure enough, if we start having a moan, colleagues within earshot will join in too. Not only does this take their attention away from what they’re doing, but if we’re the one always whinging, we’ll be seen as a source of negativity. Negativity is not productive and can quickly bring a team mood down. Especially if it’s about the company, the boss, a client or the workplace. A good piece of advice I was given once, was to give yourself three moans about something. By the third moan, if you haven’t found a way to fix the source of the problem, then just shut up and live with it.
- Gossiping. You know there’s that one person…the office gossip. “I’ve been told not to spread gossip,” they say, “but I don’t know what else to do with it!” They’re always on the frontline of any juicy bit of news. Quick to spread the rumour around the office. To broadcast to anyone who’ll listen. Like a heat-seeking missile honing in on any snippet of scandal, titillation, office politics or drama that they’ve overheard. Sounds like harmless fun, but the problem with
gossips is that they’ll eventually be viewed as untrustworthy. Unable to keep information confidential. If you are a manager and you’re looking to promote someone from within the company – you’d think twice about hiring someone you couldn’t trust with information they may come across.