Sometimes, we can be forgetful and unaware of how we are approaching our work and how we are building relationships in the workplace. We make mistakes, sometimes over and over again, without even realizing that we are making them. These mistakes can really hurt your career over the long term if you aren’t careful. No matter how talented you are or what you have accomplished, there are certain behaviors that instantly change the way people see you and forever cast you in a negative light.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make at work, and why you should avoid them at all costs.
Stabbing your colleagues in the back, intentionally or otherwise, is a huge source of strife in the workplace. One of the most frequent forms of backstabbing is going over someone’s head to solve a problem. People typically do this in an attempt to avoid conflict but they end up creating even more conflict as soon as the victim feels the blade. Anytime you make someone look bad in the eyes of their colleagues, it feels like a stab in the back, regardless of your intentions.
People make themselves look terrible when they get carried away with gossiping about other people. Wallowing in talk of other people’s misdeeds or misfortunes may end up hurting their feelings if the gossip finds its way to them, but gossiping will make you look negative and spiteful every time, guaranteed.
3. Taking Credit for Someone Else’s Work
We have all experienced that stomach-dropping feeling that happens when you discover that someone has stolen your idea. Taking credit for someone else’s work no matter how small, it creates the impression that you haven’t accomplished anything significant on your own. Stealing credit also shows that you have zero regard for your team and your working relationships.
4. Having an Emotional Hijacking
People throwing things, screaming, making people cry, and other telltale are signs of emotional hijacking.
An emotional hijacking demonstrates low emotional intelligence, and it’s an easy way to get fired. As soon as you show that level of instability, people will question whether or not you are trustworthy and capable of keeping it together when it counts.
Exploding at anyone, regardless of how much they might “deserve it,” turns a huge amount of negative attention your way. You will be labeled as unstable, unapproachable, and intimidating. Controlling your emotions keeps you in the driver’s seat. When you are able to control your emotions around someone who wrongs you, they end up looking bad instead of you.
5. Announcing That You Hate Your Job
The last thing anyone wants to hear at work is someone complaining about how much they hate their job. Doing so labels you as a negative person and brings down the morale of the group. Bosses are quick to catch on to naysayers who drag down morale and they know that there are always enthusiastic replacements waiting just around the corner.
6. Telling Lies
So many lies begin with good intentions, people want to protect themselves or someone else but lies have a tendency to grow and spread until they are discovered, and once everyone knows that you have lied, there’s no taking it back. Getting caught up in a lie, no matter how small, is exhausting and hard on your self-esteem. You have to be authentic if you want to be happy with who you are.
7. Burning Bridges
So much of work revolves around the people you meet and the connections you make. Dropping an atomic bomb on any professional relationship is a major mistake.
8. Making promises you can’t keep
Sometimes you need to say “no” to some projects because if you take on too much, you won’t be able to deliver. Don’t make commitments or exaggerate your ability to do work or you risk losing credibility and people won’t trust you. If you know you can’t handle a certain project, speak up and tell them as soon as you can. We are all human and people are understanding of others situations.
9. Not learning from your mistakes
Mistakes can be extremely valuable, but only if you learn from them. If you brush them off, then you may keep making the same mistakes over and over again. The more you can improve yourself, by learning from your mistakes, the more you can show you leadership potential.
These behaviors sound extreme and highly inconsiderate, but they have a tendency to sneak up on you. A gentle reminder is a great way to avoid them completely.
What other behaviors should be avoided? Please share your thoughts.