Arriving Late

Are you so important that you can walk into a meeting twelve minutes late with sweat beading on your forehead and a sandwich in your hand, while eight other people sit there waiting for you? Next time, trust your GPS – if it says it takes 28 minutes to get from point A to point B, don’t try to do it in 15!


Yes, the subway broke down and made you 45 minutes late, but do you really need to go on about it all morning? If your co-workers are initially interested in your adventures, it’s a safe bet that after a while, your constant complaining will start to annoy them.

Criticizing Your Co-Workers

Do you lack self-confidence so much that you feel the need to criticize others? Remember, a low blow to one co-worker will put everyone else on alert – if you criticize one team member, you might criticize anyone. It’s best to save your “constructive” criticism for the person involved.

Being Nosy

At the office, trying to find out everything about your co-workers could work against you. Certainly, being curious about your friends at work shows you have an interest in them, but intrusive interrogations don’t belong at the office.

Saying No Systematically

What’s the point of your job? To work! Once a task is assigned to you, get to it – with a smile. If you pass on every assignment your boss or co-workers give you, you probably won’t make your mark in the company.

Not Owning Up To Your Mistakes

To err is human. Tell yourself that, if you make a mistake, it’s not the firt or the last, and that all your co-workers, as perfect as they may seem, make them as well. Did you make a small, inconsequential blunder? No problem! If, on the other hand, the error has an impact on the company or client, it’s best to fess up to it right away – at least you’ll have admitted it.

Doing Other People’s Jobs

Doing other people’s jobs is a dangerous game you don’t want to play. Once they see your enthusiasm, over time, your co-workers might push more and more work your way. If you’re aiming for a promotion, you might be passed over because doing other people’s jobs could harm the quality of your work.

Talking About Your Private Life

If you were invited to a wedding or your kid didn’t sleep last night because she was sick, it’s understandable that you might take a minute to share the news with your co-workers. But it becomes detrimental – both to you and your co-workers – when you’ve got new stories every day and recounting them takes up more and more of your co-workers’ time.

Flirting at the Office

If goes without saying that office flings and romances turn bad most of the time. Along with earning a fair share of criticism from your co-workers, you have to see your ex every day when it’s over.


Do your co-workers want to gossip about the company, your bosses, or other co-workers? It won’t do them any good. Please, don’t participate in this type of discussion – it’ll just add fuel to the fire. Bad attitudes can spread like wildfire. Instead, try to focus on workplace harmony and seeing the good in things.


Nobody wants to hire a procrastinator. Complete your tasks as quickly as possible, or at least, make sure they are done on time. This will show that you’re an employee who can be counted on and not one of questionable ability.

Dealing With Your Private Life at Work

In the middle of buying a new home? Congratulations! But don’t let this transaction, as important as it may be to you, take priority when you’re at work. Makes those seemingly endless calls to your real estate agent or lawyer at lunch or after work – your co-workers are sure to appreciate it!

Speaking Loudly

These days, many offices are designed with an open concept. To maintain a calm and quiet work environment, be sure to use your indoor voice when speaking with your co-workers. Remember, those who speak loudly in these type of offices are rarely appreciated.

Being “All Talk and No Action”

Are you so desperate for attention that you need to make everyone aware of all your responsibilities with a new project? If you must tell everyone every last detail about your work, make sure you get the job done, because all talk and no action can lead to a lack of confidence in your work.

Highlighting Failures

Throughout your career, at all the companies you’ve worked for, there will be successes and failures. Once a lesson is learned from a failure, don’t keep bringing it up again and again. Instead, move forward with the new tools that the experience has given you and focus on the positive.

Arriving at Work Already Stressed Out

If, even before you set foot in the office, you’re already stressed out because of traffic, a subway breakdown, or anything else, there’s a good chance you’ll have a bad day, and your bad mood might rub off on your co-workers. To start the day on the right foot, try relaxing on the drive in by listening to a motivational podcast or book, or leave home a bit early so you can take the scenic route.

Harassing Your Co-Workers

This ought to be obvious, but you should never harass anyone at work. Never make comments to your co-workers about ethnicity, gender, skin color, marital status, physical appearance, or mental ability, among other things. You should also keep your hands to yourself, avoid staring at others, and never send suggestive emails.

Getting Mad

Obviously, in certain situations, it can be tough to keep your cool. But there’s nothing to be gained from getting angry. Instead of exploding, use your communication skills. Talking about your frustrations from your perspective will get you to your desire result far more easily than screaming your head off at your co-worker.


Do we really need to remind anyone of this? Whether it’s a pencil or money from petty cash, stealing is absolutely unacceptable.


Instead of highlighting your successes, bragging is more likely to make you seem vain and pretentious. Find ways to showcase your abilities while remaining humble and modest – like simply doing a good job! You’ll find it works much better.

Katherine Ross
Director of Coaching