Personal Impact — Things To Avoid

Today is Tuesday, so this post is on positive personal impact.

When I was in Chicago last week, I picked up a copy of Redeye – a supplement to the Chicago Tribune.  It contained an interest article on manners in the workplace.  As you know, manners and etiquette — along with a strong personal brand and presentation of self – are keys to building positive personal impact.

The article began, “The line between what is acceptable and unacceptable is blurring.”  I agree.  When I first joined the working world, things were pretty simple.  Men wore suits and ties.  Women wore suits or dresses.  Cell phones and the internet had not yet been invented. 

Today, it’s different.  The rules are not hard and fast anymore.  “Business casual attire” means different things to different people.  People interrupt face to face conversations to answer cell phone.  Many communicate with people in the next office via e mail or im.

I always tell me coaching clients to remember one thing about etiquette – do whatever it takes to make the people around you comfortable, and you’ll be OK.

The Redeye article listed several things that people in their newsroom find annoying.  If I were you, I’d avoid these things.

  • Singing, humming and whistling while you listen to your iPod.
  • Bouncing your legs constantly, or tapping you feet against a chair leg or the floor.
  • Interrupting others’ conversations or work.
  • Speaking loudly on a cell phone.
  • Arguing with your spouse or significant other at work.
  • Eating someone else’s food that is in the office refrigerator.
  • Cluttering the office refrigerator with your food containers.
  • Taking more than one, when offered a cookie or other treat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Coughing and sneezing without covering your mouth.
  • Coming to work when you are sick and/or contagious.
  • Eavesdropping on other people’s conversations, and worse yet, commenting on them afterwards.
  • Entering others’ work space without being invited.
  • Not taking the responsibility to refill the copy paper, printer ink of water cooler.
  • Pointing out others’ shortcomings – especially when you don’t acknowledge your own.
  • Complaining without offering solutions.

All of these are certainly things to avoid if you want to build positive personal impact.  However, be very aware of the last one – complaining without offering solutions.  No one likes a whiner. 

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t complain about bad situations.  However, when you do, offer a constructive suggestion for how to fix it.  If you do this, you’ll become known as a positive problem solver, not a negative whiner.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  I had decided to close down my other blog: to concentrate on this one.  However, several people have suggested that I leave it up even if I plan no more posts.  It seems as if they feel that what I’ve written there over the past few years is valuable content and deserves its place in cyber space.  So, I am going to leave up  I may even post there every once in a while.  If you enjoyed it, don’t cancel your RSS feed.  This means that if you want a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations, you can still get it by logging on to

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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