The Co-Worker You Do Not Want to Be

CA-annoyingA stress producer at work?

Irritating coworkers.

I bet any of you reading this could name one person at your workplace (or a client/customer) that rubs you the wrong way

But do we ever consider that WE could be the irritating co-worker? Hold a mirror up today and see if you fit any of these descriptions. (Names chosen are random and genders are alternated for ease of reading.)

Chatty Cathy: is friendly to a fault. She talks non-stop, to the point that co-workers find alternative routes to common areas so that they do not have to pass by her desk. She wears people out.

High Energy Hank: you always know when Hank is in a room. He comes in like a whirlwind, never quietly. His chaotic running around the office, loud voice, and fast pace can cause coworkers to cringe when he comes near.

Melancholy Marie:  Marie sighs every she walks by. She seems to be carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and can’t wait for the end of the day or the weekend. You’d like to cheer her up–you’ve even tried–but nothing you do seems to take her out of her funk.

Gossipping Gary: Gary always wants “in” on the latest rumors and secrets. He is super curious and want to process out loud with any coworker who will feed into the rumor. He likes to talk about others because deep down it makes him feel superior.

Lying Louisa: You never know if you can trust what Louisa is saying. She may not tell outright lies, but she exaggerates, promises things and doesn’t come through, and makes commitments she won’t be able to keep.

Controlling Carl: Carl loves to have things done his way. He has a hard time adapting to any change in processes, especially if over the long-haul the processes have served the company well. But it’s hard to get Carl to understand that adaptations and flexibility are often needed.

Driven Debbie: Debbie is all about success–in her measurement of it. She’s driven to get things done but in the process often steps on the feelings of those around her. They all feel that it’s all about helping Debbie reach her goals, not the overall good of the company.

Hurrying Henry: Henry is always on the move. He lives full speed. He’ll conduct conversations while passing by in the hallway, which sometimes can lead to gaps of information. When someone does want to slow him down to discuss something important, he will, but people in the room will feel like he wishes they would get through their agenda quickly.

Superior Susan: Susan has been promoted a number of times and feels she has earned the right to treat other employees like her minions. After all, she worked and clawed her way up the ladder and did her time doing the grunt work. She doesn’t realize that servant leadership is most effective the higher up you go.

Over-committing Owen: Owen says “yes” so often because he truly is likable and wants others to like him. The problem though, is that because he says “yes” without thinking, he ends up dropping a lot of balls, which only irritate the people around him over time.

Which of the above “people” is YOU at the workplace? I can see myself in some of these folks. No one is perfect and a first step is to realize the negative tendencies we may harbor.


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