Ever had trouble getting along with your coworkers at the office? Before you point fingers at someone else, take a look at this list to see if the problem is really your personality.
Every workplace has its share of difficult people, and they come in many different shapes and sizes.
Maybe these employees have big egos, or think they’re better than their coworkers. Maybe they slack off on tasks, but still take all the credit. Whatever they do, they’re full of negative energy. They drag down morale, create obstacles to growth, and challenge forward progress. And they’re not very much fun to work with, either.
You want to avoid being the person that no one wants to work with. (Click here to tweet.) Everyone has a bad day now and then. But there are certain behaviors that, when turned into habits, can be detrimental — both to your coworkers and to your own career. Become a better teammate by avoiding these 5 personality traits.
The Good-Old-Days Guy
Do you work with someone who only talks about how things were done in the “good old days”? It’s usually someone who has been an employee for a long time – and who thinks things should never change. He may frequently wax nostalgic about the way things used to be, and he likely struggles when confronted with change. He may be great at his job, but he also tends to hold projects back.
Ask Yourself: Do you resist change in your work environment? Try to become more flexible and improve your ability to adjust to change quickly. Ask questions to gain understanding. When you can identify the benefits of a new process, it will be easier for you to adapt to the change.
Criticism is a good thing – when it’s done kindly and constructively. No one likes a critic who’s mean, judgmental or overly negative. The critic might think her comments are constructive, but they often feel more like a jab than helpful advice. She may inadvertently (or intentionally) hurt people’s feelings, making her difficult to work with. A teammate who always finds fault is often avoided.
Ask Yourself: If you’re about to criticize someone at work, pause for a moment and check your motives. Will your comments be helpful? To create a better interaction, turn your criticism into actionable advice.
The tattletale is the guy who says he’ll cover for you, only to turn around and tell your boss that you slacked off on the project. He may keep tabs on when you get to the office and when you leave, or make snide comments about your work ethic. He’s likely not shy about taking credit for other’s work, and he makes sure the manager knows about every mistake his coworkers make. “Team spirit” isn’t even in his vocabulary.
Ask Yourself: Have you ever emphasized a coworker’s failure to your manager, or taken credit that should have been shared with your team? You might have a mild case of tattletale. To make sure you’re not discrediting your peers, apply the golden rule: treat them the way you want to be treated.
Do you know a coworker who always has an opinion to express? She talks, asks questions, demands explanations and shares way too much information. She chats in the hallway, at her desk, or at the coffeemaker, and she can’t walk to the bathroom without having a 10-minute conversation with someone. In fact, she talks so much that it interferes with productivity — for both herself and others.
Ask Yourself: It’s good to express yourself. But if you talk more than you listen, you may be talking too much. Limit the chatter, and focus on tuning into your teammates’ ideas.
The most important thing to the competitor? Winning. He wants to be the best person on his team, and he wants his team to be better than every other team. The competitor will (no surprise) often turn a team effort into a competition. He finishes his work faster or does more than others, and then gloats over slower teammates. And a healthy dose of competition can be a great motivator. But too much can turn teammates against each other.
Ask Yourself: Do you always want to win? A little competition can be good, but don’t let your competitive spirit become too extreme in a team environment. A team succeeds together – after all, there’s no “I” in team.
If you’re wondering about your workplace persona, take a minute to reflect on your behavior. Do you recognize any of these traits in yourself? If so, it might be time for you to make some changes in the way you interact at work. The path to self-improvement may also be the path to greater responsibility, better promotions and more recognition at work.
Have you ever worked with any of these employees? How did you deal with them?
Liz Seasholtz is the community manager at Talent Tribune, a SoftwareProviders.com blog dedicated to all things HR.