Three Don’ts

Do not interrupt unnecessarily. Do not use foul language. Do not arrive to meetings late.

When you have a question, see if you can figure it out yourself. Generally, you learn more when you can do it yourself. Plus, the less interruptions that occur around the office, the more productive everyone is. Of course, if it will take you a lot longer to find the answer, then ask someone. While you can learn by doing it yourself, you can also learn from others, and we are a team after all. If the whole team is working faster and more efficiently, everyone benefits. It’s a balance. When you do go to ask a question, try to send the question in an email rather than walking over to someone’s desk. By wording it in an email, you force yourself to think through the problem more meticulously. Also, email provides a way of archiving the question plus it doesn’t interrupt the other person.

Foul language is unpleasant and unprofessional. I almost don’t even feel it needs discussion but I’ve also seen it used excessively around offices, so let’s discuss it briefly. I’m not talking about the occasional word used jokingly during lunch break, I’m concerned about language used as part of work, for example in meetings. Bad language encourages people to be emotional instead of thoughtful. High priority issues and emergencies can be conveyed without using bad words. If it becomes commonplace, it creates a negative culture. It’s the same reasons you keep the bathrooms clean and the kitchen tidy. It’s part of the culture and it’s a reflection on the people and company itself. Finally, while you may not care, certain words may offend others. Maintain a positive environment and refrain from using crude language.

Be respectful to others and arrive to meetings on time. When you are late to a meeting, you make everyone else wait on you. The more people at the meeting, the more people’s time you are wasting. I’ve actually seen this as part of the culture and people purposefully show up late because they know the meeting will not start on time. It’s very inefficient for the company and frustrating to employees. It also breeds an attitude of certain people’s time being more valuable than others. In sum, do not be disrespectful to other people’s time, so arrive to meetings on time.

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