by ANN BROWN
High maintenance people in the workplace One of the worst things you can be labeled at work is the high-maintenance employee. High-maintenance employees are a drain on most office settings–they decrease productivity, they have negative outlooks, and they are just not pleasant to be around.
Signs you are the high-maintenance employee at the office:
• Always late: “You are always late, even to your own meetings. Keep colleagues waiting for lunch, etc., and are not considerate of other people’s time,” says Leadership strategist Dr. Wendy Johnson of Emerge Consulting Group, LLC. This is a passive-aggressive form of control that can affect everyone’s work and schedule.
• Co-workers avoid you: If your co-workers don’t like to spend time with you, it could be a sign you are just too high maintenance for them. “You know that you are the high-maintenance employee at work when you don’t get invited to after work activities; your colleagues never select you to be on the team for special projects; and your opinion is not sought or viewed as important,” offers women’s empowerment coach Annette Johnson, The FLY Coach.
• Drama is your middle name: “Do you bring personal drama to work and talk about it for days,” says Dr. Johnson. “Examples: “sat in the hair salon for hours” is a 15-minute conversation…the car wash stole your iPad keyboard, you bought a pair of shoes and the shoes in the box were the wrong size, etc.” Sure, it’s okay to share aspects of your life with co-workers, but they don’t want to hear the same story over and over.
• Attention seeker: “Do you have an over-the-top personality/disposition and inappropriate attire/appearance? The high-maintenance employee wants to be seen all of the time, draws attention to themselves by wearing inappropriate clothes to the workplace (after-5:00, tight clothing, loud colors, etc.). Wears lots of jewelry and too much perfume. This person is also loud when they are on the phone,” explains Dr. Johnson.
But you can change people’s perception of you by altering a few things:
1) Place close attention to your attitude: “Be mindful of your attitude,” notes Dr. Johnson. If your attitude is inappropriate in comparison to those around you, change it.
2) Get help: Let someone show you the ropes on how to deal effectively in a professional setting. “Obtain a mentor. Seek a seasoned mentor, one that is able to keep you on your toes, make you aware of your strengths and short comings and tell you what you need to do to overcome any challenges,” Dr. Johnson suggests.
3) Have a positive attitude: “Negativity and a bad attitude will keep you off the invitation list and clear a room in nano-seconds. Your attitude will determine who and what you attract in your life. It will also determine your career altitude,” says Annette Johnson.
4) Maintain an open-mind: Don’t pass judgment right away. “You may be smart, but chances are you don’t know everything,” reminds Annette Johnson. “Limit judgment, criticism and negative comments regarding things you may not be comfortable with or approve of. Your opinion and view is just one of many.”
5) Be a team player: Co-workers respect team players. “There is an acronym for the word TEAM – Together Everyone Accomplishes More,” says Annette Johnson. “Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty for the sake of the team. Demonstrate that you have the team’s back when needed. Support your team and treat them the way you would want to be treated.”
(This column was first written by Brown for the Thursday, April 10, 2014 Network Journal)