In Straight Talk for Success, I point out that if you want to succeed in your career and life, you need to create positive personal impact. You create positive personal impact by building and nurturing a strong personal brand, dressing for success and knowing and following the basic rules of etiquette.
A while back, I came across an interesting article on manners in the workplace. It began, “The line between what is acceptable and unacceptable is blurring.” I agree. When I first joined the working world, things were pretty simple. Men wore suits and ties. Women wore suits or dresses. Cell phones and the internet had not yet been invented.
Today, it’s different. The rules are not hard and fast anymore. “Business casual attire” means different things to different people. People interrupt face to face conversations to answer cell phones. Others communicate with people in the next office via e mail or im instead of visiting face to face.
Etiquette is changing, but one thing remains the same. I always tell me coaching clients to remember one thing about etiquette – do whatever it takes to make the people around you comfortable, and you’ll be OK.
The article on manners in the workplace listed several things that many people find annoying about their coworkers. If I were you, I’d avoid all of these things. As they tend to upset others.
• Singing, humming and whistling while you listen to your iPod.
• Bouncing your legs constantly, or tapping your feet against a chair leg or the floor.
• Interrupting others’ conversations or work.
• Speaking loudly on a cell phone.
• Arguing with your spouse or significant other while at work.
• Eating someone else’s food that is in the office refrigerator.
• Cluttering the office refrigerator with your food containers.
• Taking more than one, when offered a cookie or other treat.
• Bad breath.
• Coughing and sneezing without covering your mouth.
• Coming to work when you are sick and/or contagious.
• Eavesdropping on others’ conversations, and thencommenting on them afterwards.
• Entering others’ work space without being invited.
• Not taking the responsibility to refill the copy paper, printer ink or water cooler.
• Pointing out others’ shortcomings – especially when you don’t acknowledge your own.
• Complaining without offering solutions.
Which one of these is your pet peeve? Or do you have another one that is not listed here? Please leave a comment. I’d like to build a list of things to avoid if you want to create positive personal impact in your workplace.
I don’t like most of the annoying habits listed above. However, I really hate the last one – complaining without offering solutions. Most people I’ve asked do too. No one likes a whiner.
The common sense point here is simple. If you want to create positive personal impact, don’t whine. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t complain about bad situations and problems in your workplace. However, when you do, offer a constructive suggestion for how to fix it. If you do this, you’ll become known as a positive problem solver, not a negative whiner. And trust me on this, positive problem solvers are 1,000,000 times more likely to create positive personal impact than are negative whiners.
That’s my take on whining and positive personal impact. What’s yours? Please leave a comment telling us about kind of co worker behavior what really drives you crazy. I’ll add it to the list of no-no’s. I really do appreciate and value all of your comments. Thanks for reading – and writing.