Work on your bad habits not coworkers’ nerves

My job today is to prevent you young ‘uns from developing the type of bad habits that drive people nuts and make you a “work personality.”

Self-Assessment Quiz – TRUE or FALSE:

  1. My personal habits at work aren’t noticeable to others.
  2. Who cares if people don’t like me. If they’re annoyed, that’s their problem. I’m there to work.
  3. Getting the job done is the most important thing to me at work.

I’ve been in the workforce a long time and have worked in all kinds of environments. You know what that means. I’ve seen all kinds of work folk and work personalities. My job today is to prevent you young ‘uns from developing the type of bad habits that drive people nuts and make you a “work personality.” And for you Old G’s, set in your ways, I’m trying to let you know that you might want to look at making a change.  Quick.

Here are my top three work personalities that got their start from bad habits:

“Rushing Rita”

How to recognize her:

She’s always in a hurry. Too busy for meetings, too busy to listen to instructions, too busy to chat, too busy to join in department lunches or social happy hour gatherings. Too busy to walk at a normal person’s pace.

Why this is a bad habit:

Rita may be rushing because she is actually overworked. Fine, we get it, Rita. You’re busy, so is everyone else. But what Rita’s doing is not listening in meetings. She’s rushing people to make their point, and she’s missing the point because she’s too much in a hurry to get back to her desk. Yet, when she gets back to her desk, she can’t read her scribbled notes or doesn’t remember what was discussed, and now has to go back to someone for clarification (which is a bother). Or she tries to figure it out on her own, which can be problematic in itself. Rita is alienating her co-workers by not interacting with them socially. She may find herself left out of things eventually, including opportunities for promotion or being placed on special career-advancing projects.

Help for Rushing Rita:

Slow down. You’re stressing people out with your cyclone behavior. Listen. Be still. Be in the moment. If you are overworked, take some pressure off of yourself to get everything done “now.” You’re not a machine. Figure out how you can accomplish what you need to without killing yourself by making a manageable To-Do list for the day. And breathe.

“Talky Trista”

What she does:

Talky Trista is always hanging out in somebody’s cubicle or leaning against somebody’s office door. Tristan’s mouth works harder than she does. She has a story for everything and wants everyone to know every detail of the story. Every day. All day.

Why this is a bad habit:

Trista is not working if Trista is busy talking to everyone. Trista is not setting a good example for the rest of the office. Trista is being disruptive to her co-workers and their productivity.

Help for Talky Trista:

Go back to your desk. Maybe your talk time is a stress break for when you need to step away from your spreadsheet. The problem is that your break may not coincide with Julie’s break, and while you’re holding her hostage in her own cubicle with your words strung together in an excruciatingly long story, she’s getting stressed because SHE HAS WORK TO DO! Reserve your stories for when you actually see someone on a break, like if they’re in the kitchen getting a coffee refill. Or if you must get up and chat because otherwise you will wither and die, then go tell your story, but for Pete’s sake, be brief. Get in, get out, get back to work.

“Sloppy Susan”

Why she stands out:

Using an iron is not a high priority for Sloppy Susan. Nor is a brush. Or sometimes a shower with soap. Her office looks like a paper recycling dump and possibly smells faintly like a young boy’s locker or worse.

Why this is a bad habit:

Cleanliness is next to trustworthiness. Sloppy Susan’s boss is afraid to give her any important documents or files for fear she’ll never see them again. If the boss does not trust a co-worker,

Help for Sloppy Susan:

Clean up. If your office is your filing cabinet, this doesn’t give higher-ups or your coworkers confidence that you’re organized, prepared, and ready to battle – even if you are. And, if appearance isn’t important to you, know that it is to others. Don’t like to iron? Buy clothes that don’t need to be ironed; look for polyester and lycra-type blends. Stay far away from silk and cotton.  Take some time to self-reflect. Is there a larger reason why you’re allowing yourself to get so sloppy? Paying attention to your appearance is a form of self-care, and self-care is self-love.

If you actually see yourself in any of these three personalities, I call that a win because you can now start to make some changes. Acknowledgment is the key to growth. If you don’t see yourself, congrats, keep doing you!

Pssst, if you answered True to all of the Self-Assessment questions … we need to talk.

Cheryl Grace is the sassy aunt, best friend, and mentor you’ve always needed in your life. The successful jet-setting, global corporate executive founded the aspirational lifestyle brand Powerful Penny LLC. Her products, workshops and speeches probe, inspire and empower to ensure those who really want to can get to their next level of best. Her blogs on careers, prosperity, relationships, family, looking and living fabulously, and living a five-star life can be found at www.powerfulpenny.com.