Whether you catch yourself saying it, or overhear it from colleagues in the office, be aware that negative comments will affect your professional image in the workplace.Do any of these sound familiar?
- "My boss just doesn't like me."
- "I can't believe they gave her that promotion -- she doesn't deserve it."
- "I hate this job!"
- You don't seem happy. If your natural resting face involves a scowl and turned down lips, you are sending the message you are unhappy and would rather be elsewhere. A bad attitude and negative frame of mind is contagious. Invest some effort into improving your outlook and your life. Your livelihood, and your personal life, is dependent on it.
- You are never fully present. Whether you are always on your cell phone or your mind is constantly on your "to do" list when others are talking to you, it is a professional mistake to not give your full attention to the people around you. Your success in business is largely dependent on the quality of your relationships and when your focus is elsewhere, you are sending a clear message that you are not totally engaged.
- Your default reaction is generally "no". When someone suggests a different way to do something or a new business strategy, do you find yourself immediately searching for reasons why it will not work? If so, you owe it to your colleagues, employer and yourself, to thoughtfully consider new ideas before shooting theirs down.
- Your time management skills are lacking. When you get the job done you do excellent work, but your projects are seldom completed by deadline. If you have difficulty keeping up with multiple demands, you are probably not the first choice for a promotion. Success comes from prioritizing your work and staying focused despite the inevitable distractions. If your boss keeps piling on new work, make sure to discuss priorities and timelines. If a due date is unreasonable and cannot be met, then determine what is reasonable and plan accordingly.
- You are not interested in growing your skills. Unless you have the desire to improve your talents, expand your knowledge in your field and show a genuine interest in your job, your career will likely remain at a standstill until one of two scenarios takes place -- you leave, or you are asked to leave. We make progress in the workplace when competence is accompanied by a drive to do more, try new things and take on more responsibility. Growth comes when you step out of your comfort zone. You lack the motivation to be nice.
According to a study done by Harvard, Stanford and The Carnegie Foundation, 85 percent of one's job success is based upon their "social skills," translated their ability to interact with others in a cordial and relatable manner. It should be no surprise that small courtesies and genuine interest in another person will warrant large results.
If you saw a lot of yourself in the habits mentioned above, it may be time to evaluate the primary source of your frustration. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you may find the tips shared in my "How to Stay Composed Under Pressure" helpful. I also recently shared "Ten Tips for Staying Motivated at a Job You Dislike".