Working is hard. It’s a never-ending series of opportunities to learn, grow, fail, and learn some more. One constant is that people want to be liked, appreciated, and even loved at work (and everywhere else too). There isn’t really any tried and true method to guarantee appreciation at work. It takes being emotionally intelligent, working hard, and much more.
But we can go a long way toward becoming more appreciated at work by avoiding these five habits that are sure to make people avoid you at all costs:
“Most of listen to reply not to understand” – Steven Covey
Want to make sure you’re the office pariah? Just act like you’re the most important one in any conversation…
Are you concerned that your point of view has to be heard, or that you have to defend against any perceived wrong or criticism? You just might be a serial interrupter.
If, during every conversation, the voice you hear the most is your own, You might be a serial interrupter.
Conversation is defined as, “an informal talk involving two people or a small group of people.” Inherent in this definition is that two (or more) people are going back and forth, learning from one another. That can’t happen if one person is dominating.
I worked with someone who couldn’t be in a room with other people and without doing most of the talking. If she had a thought, a question, or just a brain fart, she had to share it immediately. This almost always happened while someone else was talking – she would just start talking.
She did this so much that when people saw her walk into the room, they either left or started to do busy work – because they knew that the meeting agenda had just been kicked in the privates… Cindy was in the house.
How not to be Cindy:
- Recognize that if other people are talking, that doesn’t diminish your importance
- Take notes when others are talking
- Train yourself to write down things you want to say when other people are talking
- Let people in groups know that you ware working on not interrupting,and that you would like their help – people love to help, so let them
Being angry is a natural reaction to some situations, but being angry at everything and everyone is a sign that someone needs help. There are some people that have a reputation for flying off the handle, and might even be considered a bully. If you notice that people avoid getting your opinion, or try not to give you projects that might be stressful, that might be because your temper.
It’s not a sign of strength to yell or be aggressive. In fact, it may be a sign of weakness.
One way to get that temper under control is to learn and practice emotional intelligence. Think about how your actions are affecting those around you and learn the skills necessary to manage your angry outbursts.
Being angry all the time might work in Mixed Martial Arts, but it isn’t a recipe for success in an organization.
When you agree with everything being said in a meeting, and then badmouth the meeting when you leave, that’s a sure fire sign you are passive aggressive.
Being passive aggressive is another sign of weakness. It shows that you don’t know how to manage conflict. One of the most important skills a passive aggressive person can learn is how to speak their mind in a professional manner. No one believes that an idea will resonate with each and every person in a conversation. In fact, sometimes people ask a question in conversation just to elicit different ideas! If you don’t agree with something, say so!
Being positive 100% of the time is totally unrealistic. Therefore, if you are positive about anything and everything, people will naturally think you are not being truthful – either to them or yourself.
Having a positive attitude is awesome. Whenever possible, be positive and try to look on the bright side. But when things aren’t going your way or something really doesn’t sit well, admit it! When you do, people will see that you are human, and aren’t “Pollyanna” all the time. It will make your positivity seem more genuine and more welcome.
The One Upper
We all know a person like this. Somehow every single topic or change in a conversation leads back to them. There are no problems as bad as theirs. There are no great triumphs bigger than theirs. Essentially, the world revolves around them.
You’ll know that you’re this person if your thoughts often turn to, “oh, that’s happened to me too,” or “that’s not as bad as me.” If you’re in a conversation and thinking about yourself while someone is talking… stop it. The best way to overcome this is to simply shut up and listen.
Seriously, concentrate on the person talking. Make eye contact and ask questions. When they are done talking, be silent. Let someone else speak. Make a conscious effort to empathize with what others are saying, and don’t always evaluate their experiences (or reactions to them) against your own. Conversation isn’t a full contact sport. It’s a dance.
What did I miss? What are the characters you’re fed up with?
Originally published on LinkedIn
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Photo: Flickr/Paco Olvera Monterd