Which faux pas undercut your effectiveness? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Which faux pas undercut your effectiveness?

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businessman with hand covering mouthYou work hard to maintain a positive, professional environment, but everyone slips up now and then. How many of these blunders are you guilty of committing?

Swearing: Besides offending people, habitual cursing can make you seem angry or out of control. Substitute less colorful words as often as possible.

Forgetting a name: Offering a brief apology for your “senior moment” should smooth things quickly, but a better strategy is to make a concentrated effort to remember. When meeting someone new, repeat his or her name within the conversation to lock it in your memory, or give yourself a visual by picturing the name written across the person’s forehead.

Humiliating: No matter how angry you are at a colleague, don’t publicly call out him or her. Embarrassing someone publicly will lead to resentment, not to mention the whole office feeling ill at ease.

Texting: Paying too much attention to your smartphone during a meeting or a one-on-one conversation can make others wonder if you’re preoccupied or bored. Explain beforehand if you’re expecting something urgent; if not, put away electronic devices.

Interrupting: While some matters need immediate attention, others can wait until a more convenient time. Help your workers maintain focus and productivity by limiting how often you disturb their work.

Gossiping: Dish about someone who isn’t present and listeners will wonder what you say about them when they aren’t around. Rather than contributing to the rumor mill, talk about movies or sports when you want to be social.

So what was your total? Whatever the number of offenses, remember that a conscious effort to change and a sincere apology when you mess up speak volumes about your character.

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