Thursday, March 13, 2008

Understanding Business Taboos

Surviving and thriving in the workplace isn’t always easy—and may be especially difficult for those who lack finesse and grace. Here are 10 rather basic behavioral mistakes to guard against.
  • Expressing negative attitudes. If you are feeling and thinking negatively, your mindset will find expression in surliness, bad temper, and general unpleasantness.
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing. Although we like to think that we judge others by their behavior and not their appearance, it remains true that we base our opinions of others, to a large degree, on what we see.
  • Failing to make introductions. Allowing someone to stand around without introducing him or her can make everyone present feel uncomfortable.
  • Disregarding social courtesies. Forgetting to say please, thank you, and excuse me and failing to perform other common civilities makes colleagues and superiors doubt your judgment.
  • Criticizing others in public. Generally, the criticizer comes off looking worse than the person being criticized.
  • Taking messages carelessly.
  • Making people wait.
  • Pronouncing names wrong or forgetting names altogether.
  • Using vulgar and inappropriate language.
  • Giving someone the runaround, which means things like ducking responsibility and giving vague or conflicting answers.
It might be a good idea to keep this list handy and refer to it often.

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