5 People Who Probably Won’t Be Successful at Work


would you like you i _n

Ever wonder why some people do well at work while others never seem to get ahead? If you’re in the latter category, maybe it’s time to take a good look in the mirror to see if your actions might be sabotaging you.

As an executive and workplace coach I’ve had a chance to observe these ‘characters’ first hand. Some of them have even been coaching clients. Many of them were able to change their actions once they became aware of them. However some were just too stubborn or entrenched to change—and they suffered the consequences.

1. The Moody One

Some people are just negative all the time. They seem to swim in a negative mood, finding fault with everyone, coming up with reasons why a plan isn’t going to work, or just being a major buzz-kill for everyone around them. This is the person that people would rather go to the dentist than work on a committee with. They may take every opportunity to do ‘workarounds’ to avoid him or her. Most of the time this person thinks they’re the most positive person around, but their colleagues beg to differ.

2. The Tardy One

This person is always a day late and a dollar short. She gets to work 10-15 minutes late almost every day and the other days she’s even later. Or she calls in sick several times a month—usually at the times when she most needed. Meeting at 9:30? She’ll straggle in at 9:35. And if you have a deadline that depends on her, you better set it a week before you really need it.

3. The Gossip

This employee always has a story about someone else and delights in spending time with others to share the latest office gossip and to collect even more tidbits. Others feel that no secret is safe with him– and they’re right. And his productivity could be about 100% higher if that energy were put into his job. This is a person that others don’t feel they can trust.

4. The Unreliable One

This person may be the nicest person around. You may love to have coffee with her and genuinely enjoy her personality. However, when she promises you work, you have serious doubts that it will materialize as promised. Either it will be late or the work will not be what you requested. You may find yourself working around her–asking someone else in the office to do work that rightfully should be done by her. What a waste of time and energy—especially for the overloaded ‘Reliable One.’

5. Mr. Nice Guy

Even though I called this person ‘Mr.’, this behavior is not limited to men. This person is often a supervisor or manager. They have a strong desire to be liked and because of this, they are reluctant to rock the boat—with anyone. This may translate to allowing substandard performance issues to go unaddressed or trying to be everyone’s buddy by avoiding conflict in any form. As a result a whole lot of waste is produced and a lot of respect is lost. The ironic part is that in trying to be everyone’s friend, this person is really no one’s friend and people are often very critical behind Nice Guy’s back.

If you saw yourself in any of these ‘characters’, don’t despair. You can change these behaviors if you choose to. And if you are being passed over for promotions or not recognized in ways that you’d like to be, you have a lot of motivation to make the changes. Just be patient with yourself and persevere.

And there’s always a workplace success coach… I know a good one.


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