When it comes to working in an office - or more importantly, running your own business - image and personality is huge. The quality of your work can speak for itself, but if co-workers or clients find you difficult to work with, the cash flow will start to slow. Your reputation can only take so many hits before you're applying for a new job, or shuttering your once-thriving company.
So how do you know you're not pushing away colleagues and clients without even realizing it? Well, here's a quick list of eight traits that should be avoided at all costs.
1. Being Dismissive
"My way or the highway" is the attitude of some leaders, but this rarely works, and most hate it. By plugging your ears to new ideas, client requests or even mistakes that you're making, you brand yourself as difficult to work with - and possibly prone to making mistakes. Being dismissive is a surefire way to have your contract canceled early.
2. Being Egotistical
Nobody wants to work for a pompous person who thinks they’re the king of the world! Professionals with a big ego tend to lay blame on others, and accept praise when others are successful. This makes them unapproachable, which scares people off and fosters poor communication.
3. Lacking Empathy
Not caring about your employees or clients is a guaranteed way to make them feel unimportant and unappreciated. That'll in turn lead them to unplug from the team and find a different one, where their contribution will be celebrated. Be sure to always lend an ear to their concerns, and have solutions in place.
A good professional - especially one with subordinates - forgets minute offenses and moves on, especially if they want to create a functional environment. By contrast, a poor professional holds on to personal offense and lets it affect the entire work environment. This is a fast way to create a hostile work environment and increase employee turnover.
5. Permissive of Negativity
A good professional creates a safe space for their crew or clients, but a poor professional allows arguments and bad attitudes to fester. Nipping fights in the bud and ensuring disagreements get proper mediation are essential in keeping an office running smoothly. Solopreneurs should also always have an air of positivity, and calmly address any worries or disagreements they may have with a client.
This particular point can drive many insane. It is impossible to create a functional environment when the person in charge is frequently changing what they want. Employees will feel like they never meet their expectations, and clients will feel that their time and money is wasted from constantly seeking clarification.
7. Not transparent
Transparency is huge, especially for business owners. Clients deserve to know what they can expect from your company, and employees should have clear direction with their tasks. Everyone should be on the same page at all times, both on your team and on the client's side. A lack of clear direction will frequently put employees up against a wall of confusion.
An overworked professional is stressed out, snappy, and inefficient. Work is done at a slower pace an incorrectly, and more time and money is spent correcting the errors. This can lead to a burned-out work environment, or even a loss in clientele.
It's important for professionals to take a hard look at how they're conducting themselves, and ensuring that they're not accidentally driving paying clients away.
Feeling overworked and need someone to take some tasks off your plate? Consider outsourcing!