6 Workplace Mistakes that are EASY to avoid
We all make them, some of them are spectacular, others a nice level of mediocre – mistakes at work. Here are six mistakes that people make that are easily avoided:
- Brutal, Unfiltered Honesty. I once told a manager that I didn’t think he was very good at his job. To be fair, he asked me what I thought and in my defence, I was young and somewhat stupid. When people ask you what they think, they do want to know, and they do want you to be honest, but they aren’t exactly asking for a shovel between the eyes. Think about your response and temper it with fairness and some compassion. I could have said: “I would really like it if you were more collaborative with the team”, which was true and far less brutal. It doesn’t matter how good the other person is in taking the feedback, be wary of saying something in a way that can irreparably damage your relationship.
- Casual Friday. Note: I know I sound like a nana, but I have seen too many people fall victim to the Casual Friday trap. Of course, different workplaces have different dress codes; understand yours. Picture this – a very corporate environment and casual Friday is implemented. Friday arrives and one poor uninitiated chap arrives in thongs, tracksuit pants and a VB t-shirt. Said fellow is sent home to change, with much judgement. In a corporate, Casual Friday means you can wear good jeans or chinos with a decent shirt, flats for women (if you don’t usually wear them). You should never dress like you are planning a night in on the couch or alternatively like you are going out on the town…. It is not called Disco Friday people.
- Being Late everywhere. My father is a compulsive early arriver. In fact, when my mum and dad were younger (pre-me), my father would go as far as setting all of the clocks forward half an hour to ensure my mother got ready in time so that he could get to wherever they were going early. Fortunately, for him, at that point in time there were no iPhones, so changing time was simply a matter of changing the clock in the lounge room. Some of this has rubbed off on me. So, people who are habitually late do really drive me bananas. Some people try to pass it off cutely, attempting to play the ditz with the “sorry I’m late again guys”. Its rude and it implies that your time is more important than others. News flash, it isn’t. Work out a system, use your phone, plan your day.
- Saying yes to everything. The people around you, be it your boss, your colleagues or someone from a different department will be happy to give you more work. If you say yes to everything then you will quickly become overwhelmed and won’t do anything well. If you are chock-full of work and someone wants you to do something more, you can explain that you won’t be able to get to it to next week, or if it’s your boss, you can discuss what you should be prioritising first and set reasonable timeframes.
- Getting wasted every Friday night at after work drinks. You do you (thanks Tati, Glam Life Guru, however having a big night every Friday night with colleagues will create a version of yourself that you may not intend. Remember, the only prism that your work colleagues see you through is at work, they may not see that you are as sober as a judge (are judges really sober, where did that saying come from?) every other day of the week. Maybe dial back the big nights with colleagues to occasionally, so you don’t end up battling a perception of you that is unfair.
- Not owning it when you do stuff-up. If you never make mistakes, you can of course skip this point. But let’s get real; we all do. Big or small, owning your mistake is critical in demonstrating integrity but also moving on to fixing whatever the issue is. Very few of us enjoy admitting an error, however it’s like ripping off a band aid, do it and deal with whatever you find underneath. The saying “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover up that gets you” originated from Watergate and brought down a US President. Just admit it and move on, it generally saves everyone much drama!
P.S. I think I know that being as sober as a judge refers to them being sober in attitude rather than non-drinkers, but for the purpose of this piece I am going to assume that it’s all about the vino!\