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Personally, I’m a Jimmy Johnson fan. But Jeff Gordon just made the list with this video! Check it out!

 

Although it would be hard for me to piss anyone off, after all, I’m in an office of one…I do think these are some good habits to break. Thanks Miss Howell for the speaking on this matter.  —Ray Campbell

By Brooke Howell, Monster Contributing Writer

You may not realize it, but there’s a good chance you’re doing at least one thing that drives your co-workers nuts.

“That’s their problem,” you may think — but it’s yours too say management experts and advice columnists.

“Working in close quarters with other people is always an adjustment. But if you’re constantly distracting coworkers, it makes them edgy and resentful and corrodes camaraderie,” says Karla Miller, who writes the @Work advice column at The Washington Post.  “Also, certain habits may make you seem unprofessional and cost you opportunities.”

Are you guilty of engaging in any of these insanity-inspiring habits at work?

  •  Making an unreasonable amount of noise. Without fail, the first annoying office habit that every expert I interviewed mentioned was making too much noise. Most office workers are reasonable enough not to expect silence throughout the workday, but excessive or repetitive noise gets annoying fast. Think “listening to voice mail on your speakerphone in a cube environment,” says Johanna Rothman, author of “Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management.” Talking too loudly on the phone, popping gum, crunching ice, munching on chips, singing and noisy tics such as throat-clearing, were other annoying examples experts mentioned.
  • Causing chaos on conference-calls. A subset of making too much noise is being the source of distracting background noise during a conference call or remote meeting. People can hear if you’re pulling pretzels out of a crinkly bag, says Rothman. She recommends getting a high-quality headset instead of using speakerphone to go hands free because it will pick up much less background noise. “There is a difference between a $30 headset and a $100 headset. Don’t scrimp,” she warns.
  • Being a source of strong smells. Your family may beg for more of your extra-garlicky recipes and your girlfriend just loves the smell of your cologne, but “your colleagues probably don’t feel the same, and so are greatly irked” when you bring those smells into the office, says Anita Bruzzese, author of “Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy. . . and How to Avoid Them.” They also won’t be happy if you neglect your personal hygiene and bring body odor to work, says Miller.
  • Engaging in excessive chit-chat. The office is first and foremost a place to get work done, and co-workers can get annoyed if you spend too much time engaging in small talk instead of concentrating on the task at hand. “Watch people’s body language,” says Carolyn Hax, who writes a syndicated advice column at The Washington Post.  “When you’re telling that hilarious story about your weekend, are your colleague’s eyes on you, or drifting over to her computer screen? If it’s the latter, cut yourself off, apologize for getting carried away with your saga and say you’ll finish it later. Then, don’t finish it later unless your colleague specifically says, ‘Hey, you never finished telling me that hilarious story about your weekend.'”
  • Doing things that gross people out. This could be coming in when you’re coughing and sneezing like crazy, clipping your fingernails or toenails, or picking your nose or fingernails and then touching a piece of shared office equipment. “Even if I was not ick-factored out, I would get germ-factored out,” says Rothman.
  • Touching too much or in unwanted ways. “Touchy-feely types” who poke, hug, tickle or grab their fellow employees or who reach out and touch or pat pregnant bellies commonly drive co-workers crazy, says Miller. Remember your co-workers aren’t necessarily your friends and even those who are may not enjoy being touched.
  • Invading others’ personal space. “Space invaders burst uninvited into cubicles and “borrow” office supplies without asking,” says Miller. Even though cubes don’t have doors, they do constitute personal space, so remember to be considerate. You also want to be thoughtful when you’re collaborating around a single computer. “I don’t like people putting their fingers on my monitor,” says Rothman. “I point to the monitor with the back end of my pen to avoid scratching or damaging the monitor.”

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Being likeable will help you in your job, business, relationships, and life. Dave Kerpen interviewed dozens of successful business leaders for his last book, to determine what made them so likeable and their companies so successful. All of the concepts are simple, and yet, perhaps in the name of revenues or the bottom line, we often lose sight of the simple things – things that not only make us human, but can actually help us become more successful. Below are the eleven most important principles to integrate to become a better leader:

1. Listening
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and they listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders, investors, and competitors. Here’s why the best CEO’s listen more.

2. Storytelling
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” -Robert McAfee Brown

After listening, leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products, but more important, in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. Whether you’re telling a story to one prospect over lunch, a boardroom full of people, or thousands of people through an online video – storytelling wins customers.

3. Authenticity
“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” -Oprah Winfrey

Great leaders are who they say they are, and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, attractive energy. Customers, employees, and media all want to help an authentic person to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self, but the social internet has blurred that line. Tomorrow’s leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging their personal and professional lives together.

4. Transparency
“As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.” -John Whittier

There is nowhere to hide anymore, and businesspeople who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers and colleagues. More important, transparency makes it a lot easier to sleep at night – unworried about what you said to whom, a happier leader is a more productive one.

5. Team Playing
“Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” -SEAL Team Saying

No matter how small your organization, you interact with others every day. Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, practicing humility, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader. You’ll need a culture of success within your organization, one that includes out-of-the-box thinking.

6. Responsiveness
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll

The best leaders are responsive to their customers, staff, investors, and prospects. Every stakeholder today is a potential viral sparkplug, for better or for worse, and the winning leader is one who recognizes this and insists upon a culture of responsiveness. Whether the communication is email, voice mail, a note or a a tweet, responding shows you care and gives your customers and colleagues a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on the organization.

7. Adaptability
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” -Ben Franklin

There has never been a faster-changing marketplace than the one we live in today. Leaders must be flexible in managing changing opportunities and challenges and nimble enough to pivot at the right moment. Stubbornness is no longer desirable to most organizations. Instead, humility and the willingness to adapt mark a great leader.

8. Passion
“The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.” -Steve Jobs

Those who love what they do don’t have to work a day in their lives. People who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage, as that passion is contagious to customers and colleagues alike. Finding and increasing your passion will absolutely affect your bottom line.

9. Surprise and Delight
“A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless.” -Charles de Gaulle

Most people like surprises in their day-to-day lives. Likeable leaders underpromise and overdeliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way. There are a plethora of ways to surprise without spending extra money – a smile, We all like to be delighted — surprise and delight create incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.

10. Simplicity
“Less isn’t more; just enough is more.” -Milton Glaser

The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, and so today’s leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.

11. Gratefulness
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” -Gilbert Chesterton

Likeable leaders are ever grateful for the people who contribute to their opportunities and success. Being appreciative and saying thank you to mentors, customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders keeps leaders humble, appreciated, and well received. It also makes you feel great! Donor’s Choose studied the value of a hand-written thank-you note, and actually found donors were 38% more likely to give a 2nd time if they got a hand-written note!

The Golden Rule: Above all else, treat others as you’d like to be treated

By showing others the same courtesy you expect from them, you will gain more respect from coworkers, customers, and business partners. Holding others in high regard demonstrates your company’s likeability and motivates others to work with you. This seems so simple, as do so many of these principles — and yet many people, too concerned with making money or getting by, fail to truly adopt these key concepts.

Which of these principles are most important to you — what makes you likeable?

Dave Kerpen is the New York Times bestselling author of two books, Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business.

Thanks David!

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