In the spirit of creating a harmonious workplace, here are a few office personality pet peeves you may recognize. Could you be guilty of any of the following?
- The Procrastinator. You have a tendency to push projects back until the eleventh-hour, working late into the night or pulling something together that isn't your best work. Save yourself the embarrassment (and your coworkers the frustration) by allotting ample time to tackle important projects. Frantic last minute emails barking for immediate attention are inconsiderate and unprofessional.
- The "Yes" Man or Woman. You find yourself saying "yes" to whatever requests come your way, regardless of your current commitments. Your generous nature can leave you feeling frazzled and overwhelmed. The next time you are asked to spearhead a project, give yourself a cushion by rehearsing the following, "Before I commit, I will need to take a look at my current to-do list. I want to make sure I have the time to give you my full attention and best efforts."
- The Conversation Rotator. Whether it's in a staff meeting or around the water cooler, the subject always comes back around to YOU; "I had that experience once and what I did was...", "I always like to say...", " I always go...", etc. Before jumping in, pause and ask yourself if your comment is pertinent, or if you're guilty of adding your input only to hear your own voice.
- The Perpetual Borrower. Staplers, phone chargers, publications, reports, loose change for the meter -- it's always something. People hide when they see you approach because you have gained the reputation as the office mooch. Take the time to update your office supplies, purchase lost technology and keep a small pouch with loose change in your desk and car. While you are at it, replace everything you have borrowed, used or lost.
- The Loiterer. You often peek around your coworker's door, or stand by their desk waiting for them to finish their phone conversation. Sadly, you often feel the polite thing to do is make hand motions to reassure your victim(s) that you don't mind waiting for however long it may take to get off the phone. If a colleague has posted a sign outside their door saying, "Please respect my privacy and come back later", they are probably talking to you.
- The Pushy Parent. You think nothing of pressuring your coworkers to buy your children's latest fundraising items. Your officemates could go broke buying your kid's chocolates, mugs and cookie dough. If you supervise employees, it's not appropriate to expect your subordinates to contribute to your preschooler's popcorn campaign. Though unspoken, the pressure is real and an office policy of "No Solicitation" would make the situation more tolerable.
- The Half Empty Glass. You struggle with keeping a positive outlook. When someone asks, "How are you this morning?" your answer is normally a litany of complaints. Truly, no one wants to be around a Negative Nancy. Change your response to "Fine thank you", your self-talk to positive, and your outlook to sunny and bright. Even if you don't feel it, your coworkers deserve a pleasant colleague.
- The Barefoot Dasher. You think nothing of a quick trip to the copier, or a run to the bathroom, free from leather bound soles. Take a moment to consider what may be on the restroom floor. For any errand away from your desk, slip your shoes on before dashing out the door. You could meet someone in the hallway who may take offense to your bare toes. If it's not comfortable to stay in your 3 inch heels all day, bring a second pair of professional flats to slip into when sitting at your desk.
The bottom line, make every effort to be the coworker with the best behavior.
For more of Diane's tips on working successfully with those in your office, you may also like: Business Etiquette: How to Avoid Being an Annoying Coworker. Visit Diane's blog, connect with her here on the Huffington Post, follow her on Pinterest and "like" The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook.
Follow Diane Gottsman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dianegottsman