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10 Things Respectable Colleagues Don’t Do In The Office

10 Things Respectable Colleagues Don’t Do In The Office

Office life has a very special environment. It has its rules, norms and peculiarities. Gaining respect at work requires not only being good at what you do, but also knowing how to behave, how to communicate with people and what not to do. Respectful people tend to do much better at their job, have good relationships with everyone around and feel good at work. Here is the list of some things they don’t do to be respectable.

They don’t lie

If respectable colleagues promise to come to work half an hour earlier, they do so. If they say they’ll back up a sick colleague, they do just that. If they claim they’ll finish this task by 5pm, the task is finished by this time.

We all lie. Some people lie more, some less. Getting rid of this habit at all seems impossible as it would be very hard to live in this world. However, don’t forget that at work you are responsible not only for yourself, but also for your colleagues. Try to be sincere and if you cannot do something or don’t have time for it, better say so.

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They don’t complain

Jack got complimented for his work and you didn’t, although you achieved the same results. Melissa got a promotion and you didn’t, although you think you work as hard as she. Kathy has been leaving the office two hours earlier for a month and she has the same salary as you.

Never complain about those things to your colleagues and especially to your boss. First of all, remember that complaining is the prerogative of weak people.  Second of all, you never know all the details about other people’s lives. Maybe Kathy’s kid is seriously sick and Melissa presented some great project she never talked about.

Instead of useless complaints, turn that indignation into positive energy: try to work harder and show that you don’t only spend time in the office, but are interested in your job. In this case, you’ll be much more respected by your colleagues and boss.

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They don’t talk too much

Having friends at work is great. It is very nice to talk to someone at lunch and laugh a bit. However, sharing the details of your personal life with everyone at work is not a very smart move. Imagine someone else telling you about a two hour fight with a spouse. You don’t want to hear that, do you? So don’t make other people listen about your personal problems.

They don’t talk too little

Here is the opposite situation: there is a colleague that never talks to people apart from work related questions. It is also not good and definitely not very respectful. Truly respectable colleagues always do small talks asking you how your daughter is, how you like the weather or whether you watched the game last night. Over sharing is bad, but not talking to colleagues at all is also not a way to gain trust and respect.

They don’t date their colleagues

Is there a guy or a girl at your work that always flirts with every new secretary and never misses an opportunity to go on a date with a colleague? How much respect do you have for them? That’s right. Dating a colleague is not very professional and always causes gossiping and sometimes disrespect. You will be even more disrespected if you have an affair at work while being married. Of course, there are situations when people fall in love at work and then get married, but these are exceptions.

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They don’t behave unprofessionally

Respectful colleagues are always very professional at work; they know the boundaries. They don’t tell rude jokes, they don’t talk about your religion, financial state or other personal things, they don’t get drunk at corporate parties and they don’t dress too casual to work. There are norms and unspoken rules that you should follow to be respected.

They don’t have truly annoying habits at work

Does someone always eat loudly at the computer? Is someone constantly talking on the phone about their personal problems? Does a colleague next to you have a weirdly restless leg? Is someone it your office always cold and insists on keeping all the windows shot even in summer? Is your colleague listens to music very loudly or even sings along? All those things can be utterly annoying especially if you see, hear or smell them every day. Try not to become one of those people with irritating work habits.

They don’t blame others

People will definitely not respect you if you cannot admit your mistakes and always blame someone else. Throwing your colleagues under the bus won’t make you a better worker because the truth will come out and you will be not only disrespected, but also hated by everyone around. Be a bigger person and say that you’ve made a mistake and you want to fix it now.

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They aren’t too active

Let’s all dress in green on the St. Patrick’s Day! Let’s make the Eiffel Tower with the paper clips! Let’s play volleyball with crumpled paper! Let’s celebrate Jack’s birthday on the roof! In every office, there are some overly initiative people who try too hard to bring the team closer. Team-building is a great thing, but if you overdo it, you’ll probably just annoy your colleagues.

They don’t look down on everyone

Good colleagues don’t look down on people because they have more working experience, they are older or because they’ve worked for this company longer. They don’t try to teach other people “valuable lessons” and they don’t patronize. If they are asked for help, they’ll help. But they wouldn’t try to show that they are smarter every time they have an opportunity.

Featured photo credit: Business men/markus spiske via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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