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25 October 2014

8 Bad Habits Killing Credibility and Wreaking Havoc on the Bottom Line

As Employees, Employers, Bosses & Business Owners, our lifeblood is our relationships to each other. That “interconnectedness” is inescapable to make the economic machine go round. As a Sales Executive, Director and Entrepreneur, my collaborative and transparent relationships with customers, suppliers, production staff and managers have contributed greatly to my work success. We rely on others to play a part in achieving our work objectives and we when encounter difficult people, people with poor professional habits, our economic machine can slow or break down.

Having spent my professional life in a wide variety of environments and industries, I have seen all kinds of professional sabotage from bad habits – most notably in Sales roles. Behaviors that make it hard to work with you make YOU undesirable to work with – which can create a hostile work environment, a broken internal culture and a multitude of problems including difficulty retaining talent, declining productivity and decreased customer satisfaction. Bad Behaviors and Poor Habits most certainly impact the bottom line of business and need to be addressed head on.

Are you or your employees doing things that make it hard for people to relate or connect with you? Are you unaware or at times, downright rude or thoughtless? Most people don’t realize they’re perpetrating bad habits that annoy, irritate, offend or turn off their colleagues or clients. There’s some “self awareness” missing that can undermine careers, promotions or business growth – depending on how many of these habits are rolled together in one person.

Why do Bad Habits KILL Professional {or Personal} Credibility? Instead of explaining the details of what we all agree is annoying and irritating, let’s take a look at how we perceive these behaviors in the people who perform them.

8 Personalities with Bad Professional Habits:

Leslie who’s always LATE – Leslie’s time is more important than everyone else’s. Her tardiness suggests control issues or a lack of respect for her colleagues. I wouldn’t trust her with time sensitive projects or opportunities.

Nick Negative – Does Nick just love to disagree and be contrary so he gets attention? Or does he think it’s never going to work because it’s not his idea and his insecurity is shining through? Nick’s attitude is a downer and he sucks the fun and air out of the room.

Passive Aggressive Pete – Too unconfident to deal with issues head on, Patrick would rather stir up drama. Maybe he wants attention for himself too or uses it as a tactic to divert attention away from his shortcomings.

Casual Cathy – Personal space or personal information does not register with Cathy. Her tendencies to “over share” and be too informal with clients and executives suggests she truly lacks professionalism and can’t be trusted in delicate situations.

Ivan who’s always Interrupting – Simply put, Ivan is only interested in hearing himself talk. He’s incapable of having a mutually beneficial conversation and often shares other Bad Habits listed above. Everyone is annoyed by Ivan.

Stephanie the Sad Speller – If Stephanie cannot pay attention to which “Too, to or two” to use then how can I trust her with bigger details? Grammar and Spelling are taught very early on – at some point, people who misspell and use poor grammar STOP caring about getting something so basic correct. So why would I expect them to care about any details that are important to me? Or, if they haven’t learned how to properly use the correct version of “There, their or they’re” and they are 20, 30, 40 or 50 years old, that’s not a learning curve I’m comfortable with employing. Stephanie is advertising her intellectual laziness with poor grammar and spelling. It’s embarrassing internally but MORTIFYING when Stephanie’s position is customer facing.

Wendell the Weak Link – No one wants Wendell on their team as he’s always slow to reply, procrastinates with his contribution and puts in the least amount of effort. Wendell is a handicap if you’re stuck with him. He doesn’t know or care how his crappy performance affects anyone else.

Evelyn Eye Roll – Evelyn and Passive Aggressive Patrick must share some of the same insecurities as well as the same playbook. Evelyn might say one thing but her sigh, eye rolls and cold shoulder say another thing. People don’t trust Evelyn because she’s not honest and lets her passive aggressive body language speak for her.

You probably recognize all these and MORE in your different work environments. Hopefully you’re not employing or turning these personalities loose on customers – they won’t stand for these types of irritations from their suppliers or vendors. As we evolve into new work paradigms {dispersed, mobile, open office, flexible times} our collaboration and collective communication with employees or colleagues must evolve too to remain productive and profitable. If bad habits and poor professional behaviors are hindering productivity, workflow or collaboration, we must work to coach people in to better behaviors. Authentically and compassionately, you can address issues to try to develop better habits that have positive impact on work relationships and your working environment.

Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!

-sks

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