Don’t become one of those annoying coworkers. Avoid these 20 bad work habits:
1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations — when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point.
2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.
5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”
6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.
7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked.
9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.
10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.
11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.
12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else.
14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.
15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.
16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.
18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us.
19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.
Copyright © 2007 Marshall Goldsmith
Marshall Goldsmith is corporate America’s preeminent executive coach and the author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful! (Published by Hyperion. January 2007; $23.95US/$29.95CAN; 978-1-4013-0130-9) Goldsmith is one of a select few consultants who have been asked to work with more than eighty CEOs in the world’s top corporations. He has helped implement leadership development processes that have impacted more than one million people. His Ph.D. is from UCLA and he is on the faculty of the executive education programs at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. The American Management Association recently named Marshall one of fifty great thinkers and business leaders who have impacted the field of management, and BusinessWeek listed him as one of the influential practitioners in the history of leadership development. In 2006, Alliant International University renamed their schools of business and organizational psychology the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. For information, please visit www.marshallgoldsmith.com.