Building trusting relationships in a professional setting makes interacting with clients and coworkers more enjoyable. On the other hand, working side by side with a person who gives off an untrustworthy vibe can be a challenge and a chore. As you determine where you should invest your energy, here are a few behaviors to look out for in the office (and in life!).
- Stories that continue to morph. You have heard the narrative countless times, and the details vary significantly. For example, they complain they missed the presentation due to illness, but the symptoms keep changing and getting more severe. When possible, align yourself more closely with those who consistently demonstrate a standard of integrity. While it is your role to work seamlessly with teammates, it is not in the job description to mirror the office chameleon.
- A perpetual gossip. If a peer is known for routinely sharing the latest news about others, you can rest assured someday soon you will be the next story line. They often swear your secrets are safe; it is still best to avoid giving them any information that you do not wish for the entire team to know. When an uncomfortable topic is broached, do not hesitate to switch the conversation or excuse yourself entirely.
- A person who will not take responsibility for a fail. Some people have a knack for avoiding ownership of a mistake. Rather than admit they accidentally misplaced a file, they will say, "The documents seem to be missing." Your associate may forget to inform you the meeting was changed to another time and not speak up when you are noticeably absent at the assembly. It takes a person of character to acknowledge they made a blunder. Blaming others or keeping silent is cowardly behavior.
- Notorious flaking out. There are those who will enthusiastically commit to joining your event but invariably cancel at the last minute with a flimsy excuse. They over commit and hold out for the best option. While understandably, emergencies do come up, a regular no-show signals a person who does not respect your time and has a reliability issue.
- A twisting of the truth. This is the colleague who asks, "Would you like to grab a quick drink?" and when you accept, says to their spouse, "I'll be home late; Suzy wants to go for a drink after work." The slight spin may seem inconsequential, but is an indicator of a larger problem. This person manipulates the story to their benefit, regardless of how trivial the situation.
- Name-dropping. We have all run into someone who has the annoying habit of attempting to raise their importance by mentioning associations with notable people, no matter how minor the relationship. Everyone is this person's "friend" and they remind you repeatedly. When someone constantly inflates their social status, it is an arrogant form of boasting and an immediate turn-off.
In a work environment, it is important to work harmoniously with everyone; remember to be selective when forging deeper bonds. Exercising discernment with your time and friendships is a leadership skill.
You may also find Diane's Five Ways to Succeed in Business helpful. For more business etiquette tips, visit Diane's blog, connect with her here on The Huffington Post, follow her on Pinterest and Instagram and "like" The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook.