You’ve probably encountered a coworker who was outright rude — always picking fights, hurting feelings, and throwing teammates under the bus.
However, there’s also office jerks who take a more subtle approach: they constantly critique your work, don’t listen to your ideas, or only look out for themselves. These annoyances may even be so slight the individual doesn’t realise how they’re coming across to coworkers.
Luckily, these transgressions are avoidable. Here are four ways to keep yourself from being the office jerk:
1. Downplay your ego.
Your accomplishments are important and should be celebrated, but constantly pointing the spotlight on yourself gets old quickly. Chances are you’re part of a larger team, so no win is a completely solo effort. “It’s ok to take some of the credit if you actually deserve it, but taking all the credit only causes people to dislike you,” writes Rob Baiocco, chief creative officer at The BAM Connection, in a LinkedIn post.
It’s fine to enjoy the rush of signing a new client or landing a huge deal, but don’t let your achievements make you arrogant.
2. Focus on your work.
Office politics and brownnosing aren’t going to drive your company to success, so they shouldn’t be steering your priorities either. “If you care more about sticking it to someone else, protecting your job, or trying to look good in front of your boss, people don’t respect your decisions because they know they are wrongly motivated,” Baiocco explains. He suggests staying committed to the tasks at hand, as you’ll earn more respect if coworkers see that your main focus is improving the business.
3. Respect everyone’s ideas.
Yes, certain employees are bound to stand out more than others, whether they always speak up during meetings or have a seemingly endless flow of solid ideas. However, this doesn’t mean that other workers should be seen as less productive or not considered “idea people,” Baiocco notes. Great insights can come from anywhere, and immediately writing someone off makes you look like a jerk. “Even if you don’t use their thinking, they will respect that you actually listened and considered it,” he says.
4. Don’t micromanage.
Though it may be tempting at times to check up on coworkers, don’t. Instead, focus on getting your own tasks finished and allow your teammates to do theirs. If you try to oversee every aspect of a project, you’ll most likely annoy your coworkers and let your own work ethic slip. “When everyone performs his or her own particular expertise, the job almost always goes more smoothly, and turns out higher quality,” Baiocco says.
Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.
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