Friday, March 21, 2014

10 Ways to Annoy Your Co-Workers

I facilitate round table discussions with Human Resource professionals on a consistent basis. It's a great way for people to get out of their silos, present common workforce issues, and to develop solutions rooted in peer feedback.

A recent discussion digressed from strategic to frivolous... it was the most fun the group has had together. While discussing conflict resolution we found ourselves immersed in a cause and effect tug-of-war. This lead us to develop a list of things that create friction in the workplace.

Here are 10 sure-proof ways to alienate yourself from your co-workers:

1. Reply to All - Sending an email to an entire team working on a project is a transparent necessity. You should never "reply to all" on an email sent to the entire organization. Even worse are the group emails that emphasize your individual accomplishments masked as a team congratulation.

2. Raise Your Hand - Team meetings (more often than not) hold us back from doing real work. We want to get them over with and get back to the task at hand. Don't stifle progress by asking question after question simply to prove your intelligence.

3. Touting Your Own Accomplishments - Never send an email to your team displaying your success. If you have done something extraordinary someone else will point it out.

4. Give Backhanded Compliments - 'Tis better to say nothing than to tell someone they did a great job followed by a "but".

5. Empower Wimps - People only suck at their jobs because they don't try hard enough and blame others for their failures. If you empathize with excuses you empower disengagement and ruin the team dynamic.

6. Compliment the Boss - Don't Kiss Ass! Even if you love your boss it never plays well to compliment greatness that has already been validated by a title and a bigger paycheck.

7. Beat Dead Horses - The topic came up, it was a bad idea, let it go! Don't argue with an organizational leader about an objective that is not going to be retracted.

8. Brag About Your Kids - We get it, you love your kids. Your co-workers may not be blessed with such wonderfulness (or maybe they hate kids). Tell your kids how much you love them... and leave it at that!

9. Talk About Past Accomplishments - That which you achieved last year, at a former company, or in another department means nothing to us today.

10. Share Your Religious and/or Political Beliefs - There is no quicker way to polarize yourself to your compadres than by forcing your belief system upon them. Deeply personal beliefs have heavy emotional baggage. Keep it to yourself!

Admittedly, I am an offender of 9 out of 10 of these personality traits. Guilty as charged!

We compete against the marketplace, other companies, and in some cases our co-workers; there is no need to make your job more difficult by getting in your own way.

There are things about the job you cannot control. Learn to control yourself.

Don't Forget to Remember!



  1. Excellent addition. That truly is one of the most annoying things.

  2. Great compilation. These things actually annoys the most.

  3. Andriana, Vinjay - Thanks for chiming in. I'm here to support you in whatever you might be doing.


  4. We need to be very friendly with our that we can enjoy the work as well as friends..

  5. I see a lot of this in open-plan offices. They seem to be increasing in popularity, even though my personal experience with them has been awful: lack of privacy and productivity contributes to a tormented workforce! Plus, open plan offices make it difficult for you to conduct personal business during the day, which is the only time you can call the doctor's office or the student loan company!

  6. Great Post by is informative..