Trying to get ahead in the workplace? Hoping for an end of year bonus or key to a corner office? The first step in advancing your career is building solid relationships at work, with colleagues and supervisors. Just as there are those in the office to build rapport with, there are also characters who should be avoided at all costs. Here are five people to avoid at work.
- The Office Gossip
A splash of work-related chitchat is typical, but steer clear of those that like to spread gossip about the boss or co-workers. Avoid getting caught up in the noise and never lose sight of your work goals. The first action in preventing negative gossip from getting out of hand is to approach the gossiper one-on-one. Let them know where you stand without being overly confrontational. Everyone will appreciate your firm stance, including your boss.
- The Debbie Downer
Watch out for the person who never looks at the bright side. The constant pessimist doesn’t bring a lot of hope and inspiration to the workplace. Whether the company wants to implement a new policy or promote a co-worker, Debbie Downer will always find something negative about the experience. This is not the person you want to associate with if you are trying to maintain good rapport or your sanity. The workplace may be negative enough without scratching for more things to complain about.
- The Whiner
The office whiner is often known as the complainer. No matter how positive the vibe is at work, this character always has something to whine about. While it is important to remain empathetic to problems and situations co-workers face, be careful not to waste valuable work time listening to complaints. Steer the conversation toward solutions rather than winding down a negative rabbit trail. Remember, someone is always watching.
- The Class Clown
Every classroom has one, and so does the office. The problem with the office goof-off is that no one takes him or her seriously, including supervisors. And, if you associate with this character, you may be seen as their counterpart. While it is fun to joke around and pull a prank from time to time, avoid branding yourself with a reputation you may not want by associating with this person. Examine your work goals and pursuits. Always ask yourself if someone else’s bad behavior will bring you down.
- The Backstabber
Backstabbers in the workplace are common. These are the characters that will do anything to advance their reputation and career. Unfortunately, they cannot be trusted and always have ulterior motives. Instead of palling around with the backstabber, keep your distance. Maintain healthy relationships with colleagues who are trustworthy, dependable, and pursuing the same success you are.