Remember your manners, even while at your desk
Let's say you're sitting at work, laboring over an important report.
It's been hours since you had lunch, but you don't have time to run out for a snack. Fortunately, you've got a bag of pork rinds in your desk drawer and begin munching away while focusing on your work.
About 20 minutes later, you're confronted by a red-faced colleague who is staring at your pork rinds.
“Would you like one?” you question politely.
The colleague makes no comment, just growls in her throat and stomps away.
While you may wonder why the colleague acted in such a way, it's clear to those sitting around you. Gobbling away on the chips is not only distracting with your bag-rustling and your crunching but is seen as a breach of office etiquette.
Then don't be surprised if colleagues don't invite you to participate in an important client dinner or fire emails around the office detailing your boorish ways.
While many people believe the key to career success is doing good work, the truth is that “it's more important to be popular and well liked.” says Vicky Oliver, author of “301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions.”
“Poor manners hurt your career because the little things matter. Very often, reputations are built on the basis of a first impression that takes someone approximately 3 seconds to formulate,” says Alexandra Levit, a career expert. “So, sitting at dinner with a new client and ordering the most expensive entree on the menu (when they're paying) is not a good move.”
If you want to clean up your act so you can improve your image at work, here are some other suggestions:
• Stop casual rudeness. Interrupting when someone is speaking and texting during a meeting are all signs that you're not giving someone your full time and attention, and that's off-putting, Oliver says.
• Communicate carefully. “In this climate, the most frequent complaint I hear is that people are too short with one another and that tone is misconstrued in virtual situations,” Levit says.
• Don't be loud. Many workers sit next to one another, so take care to respect someone's space.
• Look for mentors. “If you're unsure about a specific behavior, ask a trusted mentor who's not at your organization for his or her advice,” Levit says.
Anita Bruzzese can be reached at USA Today/Gannett, 7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA 22108. For a reply, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Twitter: @AnitaBruzzese.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Oil prices slip on persistent fears of glut
- Greensburg’s Polymer Enterprises is finding success in specialty tire market
- Obama’s Clean Power plan doesn’t change much; opponents remain firm
- Slump in energy stocks drags down Dow, S&P
- Auto sales strong in July on SUV, luxury demand
- Labor Department ruling broadens definition of ‘employee’
- Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources files for bankruptcy
- Muni bond funds stressed
- Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
- FirstEnergy to build coal waste processing facility in Beaver County
- PPG puts brand 1st in strategy to reach commercial paint market