Businesspeople forget that business sense doesn’t always translate into common sense. From the commute to the conference room, every component of the workday can spark intense frustration.
But what are the worst elements within the professional realm? Which social sins endlessly plague the working world? Count with me, if you will…
- Reading Comprehension
Bloggers constantly provide tips on how to hit ‘Inbox Zero’ before lunchtime. But I think I may have the solution. It may not wipe the slate clean, but it’ll certainly tidy things up. Ready?
Read your messages carefully the first time!
For instance, when making an appointment, one person may respond with specific date and time restrictions. Acknowledge that you’ve read the message by suggesting blocks that respect those parameters. Not only will you eliminate headaches, but you’ll also look like you mastered those reading comprehension skills they teach in second grade.
Nearly everyone you need to talk to during the workday sits within a 20-foot radius, give or take. Instead of emailing or calling, walk over to them. Because there’s nothing more irritating than hearing both ends of someone’s conversation when you know the parties involved haven’t moved an inch.
You could probably use the exercise, anyway. Maybe your FitBit will reward you with a badge applauding the fact that you’re still alive.
- Transportation Delays
Commuters often rely on public transportation (i.e. the bus) to travel from Point A to Point B and back again. Yet, while I understand that there may be the occasional hold-up, stopping to chat with acquaintances that wave from the sidewalk shouldn’t interfere. Bus drivers already have to deal with rude passengers on their route, and obvious disregard for people’s time will only make matters worse.
- High Heels
For some reason, women still feel pressured to wear high heels. Many do so because they like the way they look, of course, but society continues to demonstrate that motivations aren’t always just personal—sometimes it’s business. Women feel compelled to maintain a certain appearance, but it’s their health that’s at stake.
Plus, in many situations, women simply can’t walk in the high heels they’ve chosen, opening up an entirely different world of dangers. Why adhere to some archaic standard when it’s our bodies that’ll pay the ultimate price?
- Inferior Technology
Most companies insist on providing employees with subpar computers that reduce efficiency and productivity. But cutting corners isn’t always cost-effective, especially when the entire office must wait 10 minutes or more for their machines to warm up.
Invest in quality products that promise the longevity necessary to propel your business into the future. Providing the best technology demonstrates that you care about your employees, too, as it signals that you understand their struggle and wish to see them succeed.
Industry standards evolve at breakneck speed now, so mistakes are inevitable. It doesn’t indicate that you’re uneducated. It simply means you’re human and can’t possibly know everything about everything.
However, how you respond to these mistakes can reveal plenty about your character. Many don’t know how to accept blame or admit errors. Instead, they point the finger at someone else. Own up to what you’ve done, no matter the severity, and learn from the consequences.
Respect results from the summation of many factors. But those that fail to respect people’s time have yet to master any form of the concept. Such disregard often comes from those in charge, for they neglect to acknowledge the time and effort that goes into the various tasks at hand.
Instead of pushing employees to the brink of madness—and losing some of your best talent in the process—allow them to speak freely and listen to their frustrations when they do. Using such feedback to inform changes will further validate how much you care for your employees, boosting satisfaction and retention.
- Snap Judgment
Many people dress to impress. Others dress to express. Regardless, it’s impossible to judge someone by what they’re wearing, yet we do so regularly. But it only takes one train ride to learn that those in suits often act rude and entitled, while those in plain clothes are usually the most friendly. You don’t always have to dress the best to be the best, so don’t let their stares get you down.
Preconceived notions hinder progress. Millennials can attest to this fact. No matter how hard this demographic works to prove naysayers wrong, Baby Boomers dismiss these efforts by sticking to their assumptions. Not only does this sort of thinking stifle the next generation, but it also impedes growth within the business realm. Don’t assess employees based on what you think you know. Base your evaluation on their performance alone.
Many talk in circles, using terms that nobody understands. Leaders pack sentences with buzzword after buzzword in an attempt to sound like they’re in step with what’s happening in their industry. Ultimately, however, it’s not how you convey your message; it’s what you share that’ll prove your expertise.
- Social Media
Quit obsessing over social media metrics! When you stop to consider how many companies are vying for the same audience’s attention, it’s easy to see that loyalty must be rooted in an effort to promote quality and consistency. If you constantly offer followers content that’s trustworthy and informative, they’ll return time and time again.
- Social Gatherings
Many companies try to force coworkers to bond by planning social gatherings that are supposed to promote togetherness. However, most fail to recognize that, for some, such situations have the opposite effect. For many, it’s downright uncomfortable. But, if you skip one too many of these get-togethers, people chastise you for your “anti-social” behavior.
Once again, people need to pause and look at the situation from the other person’s perspective. Perhaps if we did so more often, we’d improve our collective willingness to listen to and understand those who aren’t exactly like us.