Top 10 mistakes of well-meaning employees

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017

Take time for a quick reality check – because the following pitfalls can mess with the best of us.

1. Assuming the worst. When facts are lacking, it’s easy to fill in the blanks with doom and gloom. Do some fact-finding and get the real story.

2. Focusing on what’s wrong. Every workplace has its dysfunctions. Pay attention to what’s going right. Acknowledge it, talk about it, imitate it, and build on it.

3. Writing people off. Bob is too opinionated, Jane is too quiet, Stan is too new, Kim is too whatever. Forget the labels. Focus on the strengths these people bring to the workplace.

4. Mistaking busyness for worthwhile action. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re getting anything done. Scrutinize your to-do list, find what’s unimportant, and ditch it immediately.

5. Not appreciating your own influence. Disempowerment is often self-inflicted. No matter how small your sphere of control, there is more you can do to get things done — as long as you believe it and take action.

6. Letting yourself blend into the woodwork. Too many people get commoditized at work. Strive to become your own brand. Stand out by leveraging your strengths, speaking up, and taking some risks.

7. Going for perfect when pretty good will do just fine. Some people pursue perfection regardless of the task. Know when you’re doing the equivalent of brain surgery (perfection desired) versus ditch digging (perfection optional). Adjust your time and effort accordingly.

8. Getting sucked in by the naysayers. Every workplace has its raging cynics. Hear them out but don’t let them pull you in.

9. Looking for ways to say no. Some people always push back when new work comes their way. Make yes your new default response, knowing that new assignments will bring more learning, more contacts, more opportunities, and more interesting workdays.

10. Failing to connect with a meaningful mission. There’s more to work than tasks and a paycheck. Know exactly whom you serve and how they benefit, because we all need some emotional compensation.


By Tom TerezContact