People are human. As humans, people make mistakes and develop both good and bad habits. Some personal habits that are brought into the workplace can spell disaster on the career front. Knowing what habits should stay at home can help elevate your work profile and reputation.
Internet Vernacular and Vocal Tics
Only if a job description entails online chatting with consumers and if specifically allowed, should using such phrases as “lol” and “ttfn” be considered. Outside that sole job qualifier, using Internet vernacular in spoken or written communication is not effective business communication.
Do not include them in work-related conversations with or in correspondence to peers, subordinates or superiors under any circumstances. To communicate effectively in the workplace, use appropriate vocabulary.
Even what many people consider mild profanity can offend anyone within hearing range, even if your immediate audience shares the predilection. That offended party can be a customer or client in the waiting area, the next office or on the telephone. He could also be a peer who will be the future supervisor who just might determine a raise or a promotion later.
Vocal pauses such as “um” and “uh” can denote uncertainty and low confidence. Paying attention to just how many time vocal pauses are used outside the work place can bring the habit into focus inside the work place. Avoid them. If you need a moment to collect your thoughts, do so, but keep it silent and brief.
Be concise in communication
Don’t add content to fluff statements, whether written or spoken. Give detail when needed for understanding, but don’t flood detail when detail isn’t required. If more is desired, the receiver will ask for it. Don’t ramble either. Give information that’s needed and avoid giving what’s not.
Another aspect to fluffed communication is the conversational padding, such as “kinda” or “sorta” or “Like, you know.” Again, be concise, and be precise. You don’t always have to be formal in your communications, but don’t pad your verbal communication with nervous or habit-generated padding.
Unless your job requires Internet access for performance of your job, don’t access it while at work, even on break or lunch. You are still using company assets for personal reasons, and very few employers tolerate that. If you need it for your job, keep your Internet activity at work to only work-related functions.
Even if you bring a personal laptop to work or use your smartphone, for instance, during your non-clocked time, do not use an employer’s WiFi or intranet to gain access to the Internet. Always ensure the company policy on this issue does not change. Also, if the company allows free-time access, ensure your supervisor knows and okays your use—just in case, and always keep your access to your own time, not the employer’s.
While it may be considered a “duh” inclusion, procrastination can rear its head in the smallest of ways. One of the most effective methods in work flow paradigms is the OHIO method. No, this isn’t regarding the state of Ohio. The acronym stands for Only Handle It Once.
While grouping like-functions into one time slot is a very effective efficiency technique, for all those other tasks that pop up, handle the matter as fully as possible before deciding to handle it later. If a piece of paper is in your hands, what can you do right then to further the project or goal to which that paper pertains? If you need to finish that project later, then group all like-project material together—and handle the entire project once.
Sorting correspondence into like-response or same-destination groups is a combination of OHIO and Group Function techniques, and it’s an effective one. When you engage that function, do everything within that function until you complete it or it’s time to move on to the next item on your list.
Don’t wait to do something that can be handled now unless you are required to wait, but do all you can at the time.