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Six Things that Tick Off Co-workers


Most people go to work wanting to have a good day.  They realize they need to have a certain amount of rapport with their colleagues and that they need the support and respect of coworkers to accomplish their work and be happy at what they do. Despite our best efforts of working together, sometimes there are things we do that can really tick our co-workers off.  And, the worst part, we don’t even realizing we are doing it. 

 The next time you sense steam coming out of your colleague’s ears or see eyes rolling, you might want to check and see if you claim ownership of any of these:


  1.   Making Your Cell Phone King.  A surefire way to make people fume with frustration is to answer a cell phone in the middle of a conversation with them.  And then, the final blow, you divert all attention to that caller, without so much as an ‘Excuse me” to your colleague who is now feeling pretty much like chopped liver.  If you are in a meeting and expecting an important phone call, announce it up front. This sends a message of respect for their meeting agenda and for the other attendees.  In all other instances, let the phone calls go and return them when your conversation is over

  2. The Rambling Voice Message.  Need to leave a message?  Be sure you don’t turn it into a rambling dissertation that seems like it never ends. Think it through before you call that number.  What will your message be?   Think of it as a 20 second speech.  Be friendly, then be direct and be brief. Give the most important information first, and then any supporting information. Then close.  

  3.  Making Mountains out of Molehills.    Focusing on the negative can easily spiral into the defeating bad habit of awfulizing.  We’ve all heard of the person who cries wolf; and then when help is truly needed, everyone hearing the cries thought it was just another false alarm.  Learn to avoid sounding like a know-it-all.  Stop jumping to conclusions and to think before you speak.  I suspect this is why that saying “Silence is Golden” originated. Deal with the situation at hand and move on.

  4. Dress Code Denial.  Things like visible tattooes, facial piercings, wrinkled clothing, strong perfume, and skirts too short are just a few of the things that will fuel th flames of contempt in the workplace.  Find out what the dress code is; and then obey it.  In cases where dress codes are lax, commit to creating your own professional dress code – one  that sends the message of being serious about business.       

  5. Having a Me, Myself & I Mindset.    Nothing can turn up the heat and make blood boil faster than someone who tries to build themselves up by tearing someone else down.  Listen to yourself speak. Are you using the word “I” all the time?  Try talking less and listening more.  Ask questions, but then be sure not to turn the conversation back to you—elaborate instead on the other person. You will get a lot further if you adopt the attitude of focusing on others and trying to help others to achieve. Remember this:  A certain magic happens when you help others to fly, their wings lift you up. 

  6. Using Annoying Sounds & Fillers.   Listen to yourself speak.   Are you using “uhmn’s”, ahh’s, or“I’m like…”, or “you know” ?   Generally, if you use these at all, you are probably using them much more than you realize – and they are driving others crazy.  There are also sounds we emit that can be annoying such as finger tapping, a constant clearing of the throat or a voice that is too high pitched.  These are also sabotaging you, making you sound unprofessional and inexperienced.  Ask someone whom you can trust for some honest feedback. 


Donna “Kinza” Christenson, The Performance Pro

“Building leaders & Enriching meetings”

262-567-6317 *

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