We all like to put our best foot forward. But, it’s not always possible to do, particularly when your own bad habits sabotage you. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a seasoned business owner, a manager, or team member, your behaviors say a lot about you. In fact, some behaviors become dreaded identifiers. Think about the Seinfeld episodes featuring the “close talker,” the “low talker,” and the like. If you feel uncomfortable around some people at work, it could be you who is the one to blame. So, it’s always a good idea to identify which unprofessional work habits you might be guilty of committing.
5 Unprofessional Habits that Really make You Look Bad at Work
Now, we’re not talking about personality quirks; not like being shy, because even introverts can make great entrepreneurs. No, we’re talking about bad habits. Things some people do without really being self-conscious. Everyone has habits, and some are quite common. Biting fingernails when nervous, repeating a catch-phrase, and other rather innocuous behaviors. But, other habits are offensive or make others outright cringe.
We all have bad habits. Perhaps you procrastinate, gossip, or lack punctuality. These negative behaviors don’t necessarily make you a terrible person—but as an employee they can reflect poorly upon you, and even cost you your job. Also, a bad habit can lead to isolation or shunning in the office, which can affect everything from your performance evaluation to your ability to do your job. —Forbes.com
For instance, certain phrases undermine trust, while others portray confidence. The truth of the matter is, bad habits are difficult for other people to deal with. They do not want to give offense and certainly don’t want to ruin an otherwise good relationship. Some simply avoid bringing these to our attention because it’s too uncomfortable or just out-of-place. But, you definitely don’t want to be the office culprit who’s sending the wrong message day in and day out. Here are five unprofessional habits to avoid at work:
- Complaining.There’s no one who enjoys a completely stress-free, uncomplicated, uneventful life. Life isn’t fair, it is fun all the time, and it’s chock-full of ups and downs. That’s what makes it interesting and it’s also what causes people to complain. While it’s totally normal to vent occasionally, it’s not okay to complain from 9 to 5. Constantly complaining will wear your colleagues down and they’ll inevitably form a very unflattering opinion of you.
- Bragging. You might have a healthy self-confidence and that’s a great disposition. But, when it goes too far, it’s known as bragging and that’s an unwanted quality. No one likes a bragger because it’s just too much to endure, especially when it’s day after day.
- Swearing. Bad language makes the list because it’s the epitome of unprofessional behavior. And, it earns this notorious status because foul language is a very poor substitute for more refined phraseology. Swearing causes others to question your self-control and even your level of education.
- Talking personally. There’s simply no place for talking too personally, like speaking with someone about your intimate spousal relationship. TMI is an acronym for a reason — people aren’t really interested or eager to listen to this type of talk.
- Inquiring too much. Asking a few questions is normal and it’s usually a valuable trait. But, when you ask too many questions, it leaves others thinking you’re not grasping the concept. Worse, it makes you look as though you’re not an asset.
What bad habits have you beaten? Which other bad habits should be on the list? How do you cope with others who have such bad habits? Please share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment!
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