The 7 deadly sins in the workplace
Keeping your job in today’s competitive workforce goes beyond fulfilling basic requirements.
Smart employees know they must also show initiative, poise and self-assurance to advance in their career, as well as respect for their colleagues. It's all about how you present yourself and connect with others.
“People want to do business and work with those they know, like and trust,” says Barbara Pachter business etiquette and communications coach from Cherry Hill, N.J. She recently published “The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat and Tweet Your Way to Success.” (McGraw Hill, 2013)
You should always practice the basics for establishing rapport: greeting and acknowledging others, and conducting conversations effectively and politely, Hill says. And you should also avoid what she describes as the Workers’ Seven Deadly Sins, the career-killing work traits that get employees ignored, not promoted or even fired.
“In today’s workplace, it’s not enough simply to perform your job at an acceptable level. You want to be seen as a valuable and vital employee,” Pachter says.
Her seven deadly sins are:
1. Showing little initiative. Look for new or better ways to accomplish your work. Most employers want you to go above and beyond the basic requirements.
2. Ignoring the details. The little things matter. Take the time to proofread your writing and double-check any numbers. There can be serious consequences if you don’t.
3. Not offering to help. You need to do your own work, but you also, whenever possible, need to offer to help others. You come across as a team player, somebody others want to work with. Plus, you may learn new skills and meet new people.
4. Remaining uninformed about industry changes. Continue to learn and take advantage of any training your company offers. Don’t forget to embrace changes in technology, including social media.
5. Disconnecting from co-workers. People don’t like to work with colleagues who ignore them. Smile. Be friendly. Make an effort to say “hello,” “good morning,” and so on, not only to people you know, but also to those you don’t.
6. Failing to convey enthusiasm for your job. Arrive on time, or early. Stay late when necessary. Give sincere compliments. Speak well of others, avoid downbeat topics and stop complaining. Don’t criticize your employer, boss or coworkers on your social-media sites.
7. Looking and acting unprofessional. You want to convey a confident and credible image. Also, be aware of your verbal and nonverbal communication.
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